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    The Power Of Choice

    Troy

    Michael's Teaching can be summed up in one, single quote:

    "You are here to learn how to choose, and to choose how to learn."

    There really is no better way of conveying this Teaching's bottom line than through that deceptively simple statement.

    Michael teaches that we are making Choices on many levels at all times, as a Personality and as a Soul. Our Soul journeys through many, many lives, learning about itself, the universe, and everything by using and evolving that one basic tool: CHOICE.

    They go further to say that there are no Bad choices, only experiences and the lessons gained from those experiences. NOTHING is wasted; not even the most boring or painful of lifetimes. We simply learn to make better Choices as we gain awareness and as we gain experience. While Michael doesn't use the terms "good" or "bad," they still acknowledge that we eventually learn to make the choices that bring us (and others) more freedom, acceptance, pleasure, and growth.

    This philosophy of Choice frees you from destructive criticism against yourself and others while encouraging your potential to learn from your so-called "mistakes." Within this philosophy, even self-criticism and fear about your Choices is still not a "bad" choice, it's just one Choice of many available to you in any moment. It will always be up to you to decide when to choose more gently and lovingly.

    And finally, Michael teaches that there is ALWAYS Choice available. Even the Choice not to Choose... is a Choice. No matter how difficult our lives may become, we always have the powerful tool of Choice as a means to make a difference.

    Edited by Troy


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    • Troy
      By Troy
      Michael teaches that the only purpose behind life, is life, itself. There is no profound, exalted, or mysteriously secret reason behind our lives. Tao (Michael's term for God, or All-that-is) fragmented itself for the pure sake of Experience. We are each "fragments" of this original source, imbued with the creative impetus to seek experience within a spectrum of possibilities! Thus, in any given lifetime nothing is wasted because ALL experience is valuable, even the "bad stuff." The need to judge those experiences as "good" or "bad" is a human convention, not a spiritual concept. Michael describes experiences as neither "good" nor "bad", but that our souls learn from ALL of it, though we eventually grow to be inclined toward more expansive, embracing experiences, rather than more restricting, limited paths. In addition, Michael teaches that the Universe is not a chaotic, random system of events that we simply have to endure, but rather that there is an awesome structure that can be comprehended by us to a great degree. This helps lend us a better understanding of our personal part in the larger scheme of things.

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    • Janet
      By Janet
      Michael Speaks
      051009
      OPEN FLOOR

      [Michael Entity] Hello to everyone. We are here. We will begin with a response to the question from Geraldine.

      [Geraldine] Hello, Michael. I've been reviewing information on concurrent incarnations and would like some additional information about their mechanics--such as: 1) what soul age primarily utilizes them; 2) if one concurrent finishes the IMs in positive pole, does this cause the others to undergo a level change; 3) if one concurrent causes karmic ribbons, does this affect the other concurrents; 4) do concurrents have substantially different overleaves, trues to accomplish, and agreements; 5) do concurrents finish out a round of incarnations before beginning a new round of incarnations or is there a more or less continual launching of a new concurrent as another one dies; and/or, of course, anything you might add to explain how concurrents work.

      [Michael Entity]
      We will respond to each question:

      In response to question 1: Though there is no rule to the use of concurrents by an Essence, there does tend to be more use of these in the Mature and Old Soul Levels. Another factor that can contribute to the use of more concurrents is the amount of land that is being utilized by that sentient race. If many fragments from that species are spread in many directions, this can tend to influence any Essence, regardless of Soul Age, to incarnate in multiple bodies.

      In response to question 2: Keep in mind that Internal Monads happen on two different levels and we will work with our channels to help encourage a clearer differentiation. There are Internal Monads relative to the aging of the body, and there are Internal Monads relative to the aging of the Soul. With that in mind, the Internal Monads of the body are specific to a concurrent, but the Internal Monads relative to Essence are contributed to by all bodies.

      In response to question 3: While the concurrents are incarnated, the karmic ribbons generated are specific to those bodies and have no bearing on the other bodies incarnated at the same time; however, those unburned ribbons will carry into other lifetimes as usual.

      In response to question 4: Each concurrent is no different from the idea that you may have for the more linear incarnations. They are each their own. Each will have its own set of Overleaves, "Trues," and Agreements. The degree to which they may be similar or different is simply a matter of agenda for the Essence choosing to incarnate in these multiple bodies.

      In response to question 5: To Essence, incarnating through multiple bodies is no different from incarnating in a more linear fashion, so the evolution will occur on the terms of Essence, however we do tend to see a pattern of concurrents exiting for the sake of review before launching a new "round" of concurrents, if that would be the choice of Essence to do so again.

      [luluaussi] does good work by one concurrent affect the progress of the essence as a whole? or is that too specific to the concurrent doing the work?

      [Michael Entity] In response to Toni: The "Good Work" of a concurrent is relative to that Personality's Life Task, and by extension, the fulfillment of any Life Task is beneficial for Essence.

      [luluaussi] ok thanks

      [Martha] IMs relative to the soul - what are those? How we progress through soul levels?

      [RabidNelson] I think they mean the "External Monads", the teacher/student, master/slave, etc. kind of experiences

      [Martha] ooohh

      [Michael Entity]
      In response to Martha: Yes, each Soul Level is only able to be transited when completing 7 Internal Monads. As many of our students know, there are several lifetimes involved in processing an Internal Monad. The body and Personality may have reached 40 years old and moved on into retirement stages, for instance, but this does not mean the challenges of the 4th Internal Monad were completed in terms of contributing to the evolution of Essence. In fact, the 7 Levels of any Soul Age Level ARE the 7 Internal Monads.

      In response to Jonathan; no, we were speaking of the Internal Monads, the 7 rites of passage that each fragment passes through in relation to itself as a means of evolution, not only of the body, but of the soul.

      [luluaussi] Then if I am understanding this, our casting placements in concurrents are the same, but with the "lifetime" particulars different, each having the same global job but through a different lens; the multiple lives serve to accelerate the essences development?

      [Michael Entity] In response to Toni: Everything relative to the design of Essence remains consistent. Only the Personality dynamics would change.

      [luluaussi] ok

      [Geraldine] I definitely would like to see additional differentiation on IMs . . .as I thought that if one incarnation of Personality didn't complete a particular IM in positive, the next incarnation had to complete it before progressing to the next IM -- this would imply that concurrents would then do additional incarnations to complete IMs

      [Michael Entity] Next Question: "Feisty"

      [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?

      [jon] good question ?

      [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 of 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.

      Next question: Martha

      [Martha] Last week you talked on TLE radio about it getting uncomfortable for older souls around feeling "authentic". This is something I am currently working on. It feels wrong somehow to not be myself, especially at work, or social settings, but then if I am completely myself in all situations then I out myself as being "not normal". And it's hard to have to deal with that over mundane issues, seems like it would add unnecessary complexity to some aspects of life. Can you elaborate on this issue?

      [Michael Entity] Martha, this is a common dilemma for the Older Souls and is rooted in what we refer to as Self-Karma, the internal divisions within the self that seek resolution. This particular Self-Karma can be described as a battle between honest expression and censorship. To most Older Souls, censorship feels repulsive, and this is amplified for the Expressive Roles. In fact we would be hard-pressed to find any valid Old Soul who supported any form of censorship. Censoring oneself as a means to "fit in" feels like one is a "walking lie," or liar, and enforcing censorship upon others is something we have never seen an Old Soul impose.

      [Martha] yes it does feel like that

      [Michael Entity]
      How others see you has no bearing on who you are. It is not always a matter of integrity in expression that your Being be clearly reflected back to you through those around you. In fact, being able to adapt to certain social contexts is a skill implemented by the Older Soul (begrudgingly, but a skill, nonetheless) and not a curse. The feeling of "not being yourself" has no bearing on your levels of honesty, nor your integrity of Being.
       
      Ultimately, all fragments extant will find themselves in contexts where they can say, "This is who I am," and other contexts where they say, "This is who I must be." In those instances where one feels one "must be," it would then be up to you to determine if this is a context worth sustaining in your life, or if it is time to move from that context. For many, the "must be" context is required for the self to draw an income, maintain peace in a relationship, fulfill responsibilities, etc. Many fragments "must be" a parent, even when they do not want to be. Many fragments "must be" at work, even when they do not want to be.
       
      The experience in sustaining these contexts, even through those bad days, is the implementation of your higher perspective, or manifesting of Essence, since you can see the payoff and the necessity of your choice. In those instances that you have decided that the context is worth it, then it would do you well to recognize that you have made an honest choice, ironically upholding the integrity of your Being, your soul and personality, since you know this is a context that gives back to you in a way that is valuable for other areas where you feel you "can be yourself."
       
      Eventually, the Personality will find little discrepancy in itself between one context and another, especially as one owns the fact that those contexts are being sustained by choice, even if only "for now." We will also note that every fragment can find at least one other fragment in which to confide and "be herself" in any context where one feels limited. This relationship is one that can be found with some amount of discernment and patience, provided one is not being held captive and against one's will, which is a karmic situation, not a situation of choice.

      [Martha] clearly then it's crucial to have some areas where you can be yourself

      [jon] Is it ever truly required for a fragment to stay in one of those contexts? For example, you may need a job to eat and stay alive, or one could be a slave, required to act a certain way or die

      [Michael Entity] Jon, Slavery is often not a matter of choice, but the same concepts would apply within those stricter limitations: one's imposed environment does not destroy who one IS, even in the most horrific conditions lacking choice, and confidence in at least one other fragment is often available even within those conditions.

      [Martha] thanks

      [Diane_H] Great question Martha

      [Michael Entity] Next question: Toni

      [luluaussi] hello Michaels. in regard to the approaching nexus: It seems that fear and greed is running neck and neck during these economic times with events such as the bulldozing of foreclosure properties in California which seem not only wasteful but without any real thought to "creating" only destroying ...could you comment on this in terms of the upcoming Nexus....does the radical restructuring of the global economy and our connections to each other, how people view their participation in this process come into play with the new platform?

      [Michael Entity] In terms relative to the upcoming Nexus and these situations that seem to indicate such destructive factors and forces, the Nexus toward the end of the month may actually bring about some relief, as it appears to be a movement toward generating realities of solutions, choices, and footing. However, in the larger scheme of things, this force of destruction is, so far, a result of resistance by Baby and Young to the Mature Soul paradigm. However painfully or dramatically the evolution moves, we do not see many probabilities where a new paradigm of Resource-Based Economy does not take root in your world..

      [luluaussi] how can we proceed to as older souls to navigate through these times most effectively

      [Diane_H] (Thank God)

      [luluaussi] yes!

      [Michael Entity] The loss of so much property, prosperity, and the experience of this being in the hands of forces beyond those of "the people" is no longer of interest to your average level of sentience.

      [Geraldine] My observation is that most old souls were likely least affected by much of the economic turmoil as they are less material-oriented

      [fiestycappy78] that is certainly true in my case. I had nothing to lose!

      [Michael Entity] What we would suggest for the Older Soul as a means to navigate what might seem to be the tougher, challenging times of your economy and society is for the Older Soul to choose the higher perspective of trust in the evolution of your species as a whole, which is in evidence at every turn, despite the media emphasis on the more entertaining snags and dragging of feet, as well as a focus on how to increase the joy in your own life as a means to be a source of what you might consider to be a "positive force" in your world.

      [Geraldine] me, too -- I already was at the bottom due to early parts of the turmoil a few years ago -- and had already changed my perspective -- my volunteering will continue

      [luluaussi] ah ....you have indicated to me earlier that my own platform choices have been about balance between responsibility and playfulness I can see where this makes sense

      [Michael Entity] It is true that many of our Older Students see the impending changes and "destruction" as something that is happening "out there," in much the same way that the parent may see the growing pains of a teen, doing all one can to encourage a healthy direction, but knowing that the teen will do what he will do to learn.

      [luluaussi] thank you Michael

      [Michael Entity] Next question: Cheryl

      [oceancheryl] Could you please share your perspective of the recent Twin Oaks gathering? The energy felt very intense there, and I am wondering what kind of work we all were/are doing on levels other than the physical. I still feel like I am doing a lot of processing from the gathering.

      [Michael Entity] There are a multitude of levels, agreements, and exchanges that are too many to go into here, but we can say that the overall theme for all involved was one of increasing the experience of, and the implementation of, Agape. To the extent that one may have felt challenges in feeling loved, or being loving, in the true sense of the word, Agape, is the extent to which one may have continued to feel the effects from the gathering. A great amount of healing was generated during the gathering, and this sense of encouraged alignment left one with a clearer internal perspective as to what is inspiring in one's life, what is not, and what one wants to do next, if that internal perspective is willing to be explored.

      [oceancheryl] thank you michael

      [Michael Entity] Next Question: Tuija

      [tkmppi] What is the greatest possible difference in Soul age and level between Essence Twins?

      [Michael Entity]
      Tuija, we have never seen the Soul Ages between Essence Twins to be more than 3 Levels in difference, but knowing the flexibility of our universe, there are probably exceptions.

      Last Question: Jon

      [jon] What is stress? And what are good ways of reducing it (or at least its harmful effects)?

      [Michael Entity]
      We would define Stress, in this case, as Unwarranted Pressure, outwardly or inwardly. Outwardly, this could be said to be Resistance. Inwardly, this could be said to be Anxiety.

      Resistance and Anxiety are forms of defensiveness against that which has been deemed an imposition of Time or Space. Resistance is a defense against the demands of Space, or your environment, and Anxiety is a defense against the demands of Time.

      Ways of reducing Stress would be to update your perceptions and actions to relieve you of this unwarranted Pressure. Much of what is experienced as Stressful are situations that are more anticipatory than real. When one can update the perceptions to focus only on that which is tangible, then navigation through time or space can move more comfortably and freely.

      Friction is a natural part of life. In all lifetimes, through all Soul Ages and by all Essences, Friction will be experienced until the "end." Friction is the experience generated by opposing forces in the life, and in the Positive Pole, it could be said to be Evolution, and the Negative Pole could be said to be Stress.

      Evolution is the resolution of those opposing forces as a means to move onward; Stress is the defense against those forces as a means to remain in a pseudo state of safety.

      There are many ways one can relieve stress, such as walking, eating well, meditating, dancing, having outbursts, etc, but the most effective way is in updating the perceptions to manage only that which can be managed, and to allow room for your awareness of the forces of time and space, without the need for defensiveness against them.

      A more elaborate response might be in order here at some point, but we think this is some food for thought in regard to your question.

      [jon] Thank you

      [Michael Entity] We will conclude here. Good day to each of you. Goodbye.
    • Hunter
      By Hunter
      A few months ago, I'm thinking like four or five now, I can't really recall, I woke up one morning and decided that I was no longer going to consume animal flesh. It's a lifestyle choice I've been considering for some time and that day, what everyday it was, was when I made that choice. I feel good. Inside and out.
       
      I really didn't want to make a big deal of it. The one thing holding me back for so many years was the fear of being made fun of. I'm definitely over that now. And I am glad. I've started a chain reaction. A week after I quit the meats my girlfriend stopped as well. Some of her co-workers have even decreased their intake of meat, especially red meat. Which is good. At least they are becoming MORE aware of the suffering. My brother has been tossing around the idea of going vegan as well. I can see the ripples of my choices effecting others in a positive way. 
       
      One thing I have noticed though. Once I began making more conscious decisions about my food that same awareness has began to seep into other aspects of my life. We've got everyone recycling all the trash at my work now. And a lot of them are recycling at home too. It's awesome!!! I feel as though I'm more considerate of the individuals and world's around me. It's not enough to go through the motions, I want to KNOW that my impact on the world is a positive one.
       
      I also notice animals act differently around me. Especially wild animals, it's as though they sense I am no longer a predator.
       
      Be the change you wish to see. Make the waves you want to ride. 
    • Troy
      By Troy
      "Soul Age" describes one of the most immediately practical and useful aspects of Michael's body of information. The Soul Ages describe the very basic stages every soul will go through in the process of its evolution. Your Soul Age helps describe where you are in that process. Soul Ages can also help describe the average perspective of groups of people, communities, countries, etc. Understanding the Age of an Essence, or a group of Essences, can greatly increase your ability to be accepting, adaptable, compassionate, and constructive.
       
      Ironically, this part of the Teaching can also tend to be the most susceptible to abuse, misuse, and complete distortion among Students. Remember that the Soul Ages are not hierarchical and that one Soul Age is not better or worse than another.
       
      Before an Essence commits to a cycle of lives as a Human, it will go through a long process of energetically exploring the Earth and all of its kingdoms of life forms, along with all the other souls who are considering becoming Human. Some souls decide to move on to other planetary systems and some souls never even choose to incarnate. Since you are reading this, your Essence decided long, long ago that this planet and all it has to offer was just the right place for your adventures!
       
      The Essence enters its first lifetime!
       
      What happens next is an incredible journey of dedication, intensity, and adventure in the school of Earth and playground of life! Each lifetime gains more knowledge for the Essence and the use of that knowledge is continually improved upon when planning the next lifetimes. As the knowledge and experience grow, so does the maturity of the soul, and that maturity is described as a Soul Age. The progress through the Soul Ages is Essence-determined and no other Essence, or God, or Tao, or institution, or ANYTHING monitors your speed or level of growth. Your Essence is the only one who can determine when to move on, and how long to experience a Soul Age!
       
      There are 7 Soul Ages to the experiences of living life as a Human being. We will only cover 5 here as they are the most relevant to you in the beginning. There are 2 additional, extraordinary Soul Ages that are experienced after the completion of all of your lifetimes as an individual soul, but we will not cover these in the Basic Teachings.
       
      Each Soul Age can take as many lifetimes as the soul wants or needs to take, but there is an average of 49 lives per Soul Age.
       
      Infant, Baby, Young, Mature, and Old
       
      INFANT
      Infant Souls are those that are new to being in bodies and new to the planet. They are usually superstitious and fearful, choosing lifetimes set away from the chaos of modern life, or at least living separately from it, even if in the midst of it.
       
      The basic lessons of the Infant Soul are Survival. The lifetimes tend to be centered mostly on learning how to feed, clothe, and keep the body alive.
       
      Since the forests and other isolated areas of the world are all but gone, Infant Souls have fewer places to choose for being born and being "left alone"; therefore, they appear to be choosing to be born in more "concrete jungles" over the past 50 years or so. Infant Souls contribute to the rise in the homeless population in metropolitan areas as these souls are learning lessons of survival in the "new jungles". Infants can be as accomplished as anyone else, but there is an edge of instability and even insanity in their eyes. Most modern Infant Souls get into very big trouble, mostly through murders and breaking the civil, unspoken "rules" of a society.
       
      There are very few Infant Souls coming to this planet anymore since there are very few places left to incarnate without older soul ages interfering. The Infant Souls who are already committed to a cycle of lifetimes will tend to find it difficult to keep older soul ages from either exploiting them, or being compelled to rescue the Infant from its survival struggles.
       
      The Infant Soul Motto might be, "There is ME, and everything is just scary and threatening!" As the Infant begins to learn how to survive, it begins to seek experiences in groups, which leads them to the Baby Soul Age.
       
      BABY
      Baby Souls have fairly mastered the experiences of basic Survival and now seek experiences focused on how to behave in groups. Baby Souls gain experiences through supporting an authority, being civil, enforcing order, being clean, law-abiding, structured, etc.
       
      The development of most Religions is rooted in Baby Soul values and ideals. What better way to bring order to a large group of people and to encourage respect but through the mythologies of a vague, scary, parental God who can get angry and punish you if you misbehave? There are many forms of religion, of course, but one can see why Baby Souls would be drawn to this context. There is a security in the churches and the rules and laws are handed out by an unquestioned authority.
       
      Baby Souls will rarely question, they simply have the decisions handed to them from a trusted authority, which they will defend blindly. They do not ponder their individuality, except in terms of how they fit into the contexts handed down from an authority.
       
      All things based on order, structure and justice are Baby Soul concepts, like the library systems, judicial systems, and police forces.
       
      Baby's see the world only in terms of "ME, and NOT ME". This means if you are "NOT ME", you are wrong, bad, and possibly "going to hell". They see everything in terms of black and white, good and bad. Baby Soul's seek such order, it only makes sense to them that you behave within their own terms. Their world is strikingly "black and white", but as the soul grows through the Baby stage, it begins to gain an individual identity, which leads to the Young Soul Age.
       
      YOUNG
      Young Souls have learned all they can from being civil and listening to authority. This Age is like the adolescence of Soul Ages.
       
      The Young Soul seeks recognition, fame, excitement, stimulation, material rewards, and they are highly competitive. This is where the soul begins to indulge in the physical plane and really get into some trouble and adventures!
       
      This Soul Age tends to be the least spiritual, though they will use religious or spiritual groups for networking or help to maintain a position of authority over other people. It can be very difficult for a Young Soul to be spiritually conscious since the focus is so strongly on being as physical as possible.
       
      Young Souls are gaining experiences about individuality, self-expression, competition, self-sufficiency, strength, abundance, endurance, and prestige.
       
      They see the world in terms of "there are you and me and I am going to win."
       
      When an Essence has indulged in the physical plane, experienced all its riches, there will come a point of realization that "there is more to life than this", and that is the step toward the Mature Soul Age.
       
      MATURE
      Mature Souls have learned all they could from having everything they have ever wanted; they've been rich, been recognized, and extracted whatever they thought was important to obtain from the physical plane. Once they have all of that experience, the soul and personality figuratively look around and say, "now what?" It starts to seek experiences focused on emotional connections and spiritual intimacy, wholehearted trust.
       
      The Mature Soul finally confronts the internal sense of separation gained during the Young Soul Age and begins to reach out to others in pain. Most Mature Souls find intimacy through the sharing of intensity and emotions, seeking others who can identify with such personal, inner struggle.
       
      Mature Souls are the most intense and dramatic about life, which helps encourage the questions of "who am I?" and "Why am I here?" They begin to turn away from organized religion, preferring a more personal spirituality.
       
      They begin to recognize the sources of pain and oppression in society and seek to alleviate those influences in any way; therefore, the Mature Soul actively supports some form of "Rights", such as Gay Rights, Animal Rights, fights against Apartheid and Child Abuse, etc.
       
      They crave closeness and meaning in their life. This Age is where the soul begins to want to contribute and "count" for something.
       
      The Mature Soul sees the world as "there are you and me and I know how you feel."
       
      Many of the Students of the Michael Teaching who are drawn to this teaching are somewhere in their Mature Soul cycle.
       
      When the Mature Soul has begun to soften its boundaries, has forged some profoundly intimate relationships, and has built a sense of inner security and peace, that soul then begins to feel a gentle, but haunting, pull to find what feels like "home", and they know it isn't "here".
       
      OLD
      Old Souls now have gained the experiences to help them discover where they fit in, who they love, and they have answered some important questions about why they exist and "who" they are. They now begin to question everything on a larger scale. "Where do we all fit into the scheme of things?" "How does reality work?" "What is Love?" "How do I get Home?"
       
      The Old Soul feels a strange sense of being "tired", and knows that one of the last profound experiences will be in finally, utterly, accepting and loving this world, the people in it, and everything about it; the experience of truly unconditional Love. More difficult than discovering a Love for the world, is the final, most difficult experience of all,... the Love of You. That experience can be most terrifying because Old Souls have glimpsed the magnitude of the vastness of the Universe across all of their lifetimes and they realize their tiny place in it.
       
      The Old Soul begins to sense a need to understand what I like to call "home"; a vague place that is obviously "not here", but truly a place of oneness with the universe and life. They begin feeling a deep recognition of other people that is not limited by the current lifetime. Old Souls can see the entirety of a person, "remembering" other people from other lifetimes.
       
      A challenge for the Old Soul is to now draw wisdom from their souls, using the knowledge gained across all of their own lifetimes, and understand how to live and communicate with all other Soul Ages. They begin seeing past the veil that separates the Physical from the Non-Physical, which draws the Old Soul to mystical and profound spiritual experiences. Eventually, the Old Soul learns to experience life with a uniquely balanced sense of awe and familiarity, as it experiences its last lifetimes and seeks reunion with their spiritual family.
       
      A SPECIAL NOTE on Older Souls and "status": Some people may think that those who are claiming to be "Old Souls" are delusional, misinformed, and/or saying they are Old Souls just for attention or status. This is ironic because the people who are overly concerned with this subject are unwittingly revealing that they are the ones who actually interpret Soul Age as a status symbol.
       
      A truly Old Soul is not going to be preoccupied with status and labels. It has been said that if an Old Soul were told he is a Young Soul, he would ponder the possibility, but if a Young Soul is told he is a Young Soul, his defenses go up because there are obviously "better", "more advanced" Soul Ages.
       
      Soul Age is meaningless as a status symbol to those who study this Teaching as a means to gain an understanding of themselves and others. If someone really is claiming to be "old" as a way to seem better than someone else, you probably won't see them around this Teaching very long, anyway. Using Soul Age as a status symbol would only make sense if all of the students saw that term as indicating one soul age being better than another soul age, but the foundation of the Michael Teachings makes it extremely difficult to maintain that kind of superficial comparison.
       
      Another important consideration: Some students have a stereotypical interpretation of how an Old Soul "should" behave or not behave, describing how an Old Soul should feel or express himself, etc. The point that these people are missing is that the reality of being an Older Soul is that you have all other Soul Ages under your belt of experiences! This means you do have more flexibility in choosing how to behave, how to express yourself, what tools to draw from, etc. There will be times when an Old Soul appears to be a Young Soul, simply because he can or needs to use that aspect of himself. In the same way that a physically-aged Adult of 40+ years old can get rejuvenated and heal by playing like a child (or with a child) in that child's games, so can an Old Soul play the Young Soul games, if necessary.
       
      Being an Old Soul doesn't mean you avoid material security, living hand to mouth, resisting technological advances, and sit around philosophizing while waiting to die. In fact, since the Old Soul has all of those lives under the belt, it draws strength and wisdom from ALL levels and seeks to LIVE more fully! That means that an Old Soul may just WANT to play out a Mature Soul drama, or have a business that succeeds like a Young Soul, or draw from the Baby Soul experiences as a means to have order and respect within a household and family, and sometimes the Old Soul just might get silly and free with the Infant Self through dancing and drinking!
       
      The whole POINT of getting to a place where you are an Old Soul is that you have gained the perspective of each previous Soul Age and can use those perspectives as you wish!
       
      Musical Chairs
      I'd like to share an analogy that helps you to keep in perspective that the Soul Ages are NOT better or worse.
       
      Imagine you walk into a room with a stage in the center and 5 chairs all set up in a large circle, all facing the stage, and there is a lot of activity on the Stage for you to watch!
       
      The first chair in the circle can be likened to the Infant Soul Age. It's the first time in the room, it's the first time you are seeing the stage, so you sit and stare and fidget and observe and get as comfortable as you can. You watch the Play, but you also look around the room and shift in your own chair, nervous, but getting adjusted, and not really knowing what is going on. At some point, you begin to understand that the key is in sitting still, watching the play, and gaining some insight that way. You then move to the next chair.
       
      Now you are in a new position in the same room with the same stage with the same play. BUT, not only has your perspective changed but now that you understand where to focus, this makes the play even more interesting!
       
      Someone else has now seated themselves in the chair you previously occupied.
       
      You do remember what the room and stage looked like from that previous chair, and what players you could see better, and what activity on which you got a better angle, but now you have a new perspective from your second chair! You can see things in the room you didn't notice before, you now see different props, etc., while the person in the first chair (your previous chair) is observing from the angle you originally had. From your position you now have the memory of the previous chair PLUS the experience of this newly seated perspective. The first person is not better or worse, only in that he/she is seeing the room, the stage, and the play, from a different chair!
       
      You now move to the third chair, the fourth chair, etc., all the while learning to see the room and stage and play from a new perspective while also retaining the perspective of the previous chairs occupied.
       
      It is important to note that all of the Soul Ages you have experienced (all of the chair perspectives that have come to pass) are now within your grasp to remember and draw from! It wouldn't be very appropriate to turn to the first chair while sitting in the third chair and scowl or judge them because they cannot see from your point in the circle. You, yourself, sat in that chair at one time, and though you gained what you gained from that chair, a new person may even notice things you completely missed, so there can always be something to learn from those sitting in positions you previously occupied.
       
      ALL Soul Ages can be recognized for what they are: a different point on the same circle.
       
      Your point in the circle has as its capacity for understanding and showing compassion for the previous Soul Ages. For instance, a Baby Soul and an Old Soul in an argument will mean that the Old Soul may have to draw from his/her Baby Soul skills to help the situation along. The Baby Soul has not had the experiences of seeing the "room" from the same place as you, but you can remember what the room might be like for the Baby. This does not make the Older soul better than the Baby Soul, any more than an Adult is better than a Child, but one simply has the ability to be more responsible and adaptable, if he chooses.
       
      THE WORLD NOW
      If you look at the world in terms of the average Soul Age, you will see a much more interesting and compassionate picture than if you simply look at the world as a place of chaos, war, struggle, and division. Some populations will have a higher percentage of one Soul Age, which will give a culture or society a different environment and approach to life than another population. There are Young Soul societies, such as the United States, and there are Old Soul societies, as we can find in Holland. Within a Country, you will, of course, find "pockets" or communities of Soul Ages drawn together.
       
      The world is now officially and technically predominated by Mature Souls. This can be seen in the breaking down of boundaries and connecting of people all over the world with telephones, televisions, traveling faster, and even with the Internet. It can be seen in the Berlin Wall coming down, the environment being seen to be Global, not just local, it can be seen in the Human Rights Movements, Gay Rights, Animal Rights, Women's Rights, etc.
       
      Though the world is officially "Mature", the United States is just coming out of a long Young Soul phase and is slowly introducing the effects of a more Mature Soul mentality. There are still Young Souls in power making decisions that affect us, and even though it will take a while for Mature souls to find power and leadership appealing, they are making their way into these positions slowly.
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