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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.
Michael does teach that reincarnation is valid. As a soul gains experiences, so does it gain maturity and wisdom, which is identified by what Michael refers to as a "soul age." They teach that every soul goes through 7 stages of maturity across as many lifetimes as it takes. There is no one to measure a soul's maturity except the individual soul, itself. As we gain experience, we learn to be more aware, more compassionate, more connected, more sensitive, and more peaceful, but we also go through a spectrum of experiences that naturally include all things horrifying and beautiful. We eventually gain enough experience that the Soul and the Personality within the lifetime begin to co-create, decide, and choose more consciously, bringing to the lifetime a greater sense of Truth, Love, and Energy.
Michael teaches that we, as individual consciousness, choose one of seven Roles (or Essences) to use as our particular means of expression during our cycle of lifetimes. This Role remains the same throughout all of our incarnations, though we continue to improve on that Role and we evolve our ability to play that Role with each experience gained. To make each soul even more unique, we choose a ratio of "Focused and Creative Energy" lending us more or less creativity or focus, which we eventually learn to balance out. We also choose a unique "Frequency," which describes how we tend to process life.
Your Soul creates a Body and Personality for every lifetime. When a soul first begins creating lifetimes, this can be quite difficult and chaotic, but with each lifetime, our soul gains more experience, and each Personality gains more conscious ability to choose and eventually both begin to create lives productively and meaningfully.
A Personality is designed with a Goal (a primary motivation for the lifetime), a Mode (how you reach your Goal), an Attitude (a basic perspective), a Centering (how you react to life), and a couple of basic Fears are developed in our youth (chosen for protection, but eventually sought to be overcome), and so much more!
There are 7 Roles/Essences, 7 Goals from which to choose, 7 Attitudes, 7 Modes, 7 Basic Fears, and so on.
To understand the dynamics of your Essence as it exists beyond this lifetime, and to gain self-awareness through the understanding of your Personality's design, greatly frees you from self-criticism, enabling you to enjoy this life, and to increase the Love and Understanding, Compassion and Peace in your experiences of relationships and self.
Have fun exploring and learning, and remember:
"We are here to learn how to choose, and to choose how to learn."
"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 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 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 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 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 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!
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.
In the same way the "spark" takes on an Essence Role for its cycle of lives while adventuring from the Tao, the Essence takes on a PERSONALITY each lifetime when it incarnates! This helps create even more diversity and flexibility for the soul.
The PERSONALITY is the vehicle for the Essence to experience life, like a space suit. It is the extension of the Essence, allowing the soul to experience the Physical Plane and all of its emotions, sensations, thrills and chills. There a number of ways to set up your "space suit" and as the Essence experiences more and more lives, it gets better and better at creating its life and Personality.
The different factors used in designing a Personality are referred to as OVERLEAVES.
The Overleaves used in creating a Personality are:
GOAL: The primary motivator within the lifetime
MODE: The primary way of approaching the Goal
ATTITUDE: The primary way of viewing the life
BODY TYPE: The basic genetic and planetary influences that make up your actual body
These Overleaves listed above are chosen before birth by the Essence.
AFTER being born, by the age of three, another Overleaf is settled on called CENTERING: your habitual way of taking in and reacting to the world and experiences.
In your adolescence within the lifetime you then add one more element that makes life all the more interesting and challenging; your basic fear, called the CHIEF NEGATIVE FEATURE. It is your stumbling block and primary challenge to all things within the life.
Note: Chief Negative Features are commonly referred to as "Chief Features."
Those are the basic Personality traits with which to be concerned for now.
As with the Essence Roles, there are 7 Goals, Modes, Attitudes, etc., to choose from and combine for the lifetime. Again, as with the Roles, do not get too caught up being literal. Michael chooses the terms carefully. In studying the Michael Teachings, you will begin learning that we have tended to put negative connotations to perfectly neutral words. You will see that some words you used to think were "bad" now become empowering and make perfect sense.
The 7 Goals are:
Re-evaluation: the lifetime revolves around slowing down experience as much as possible, so as to assimilate past life influences. Growth: the lifetime revolves around gaining as much experience as possible, so as to use in future lives.
Discrimination: the lifetime revolves around learning how to make better choices and decisions for yourself. Acceptance: the lifetime revolves around learning how to accept all choices and decisions, even the choices of others.
Submission: the lifetime revolves around learning where and how you are most needed and effective. Dominance: the lifetime revolves around learning how direct and lead those who are most needed and effective.
Flow: the lifetime is learning how to relax, enjoy life, and let it unfold, trusting in Essence.
The 7 Modes are:
Reserve: reaching your Goal by refining your emotions Passion: reaching your Goal by freeing your emotions
Caution: reaching your Goal by refining your thoughts Power: reaching your Goal by freeing your thoughts
Perseverance: reaching your Goal by refining your actions Aggression: reaching your Goal by freeing your actions
Observation: reaching your Goal by observing and using the Mode most appropriate for the occasion.
The 7 Attitudes are:
Stoic: sees life as if they have seen it all before Spiritualist: sees life as if they have never seen it before
Skeptic: sees life like it can always be disproved Idealist: sees life like it can always be improved
Cynic: sees life as opposite to what appears to be Realist: sees life as it appears
Pragmatist: sees life practically and through the Attitude most appropriate for the occasion.
The 7 Body Types are:
Lunar: rounded, pale, emotional; good for lifetimes dealing with one on one Inspirational contact (relates to Server) Saturnian: tall, durable, lean; good for lifetimes dealing with Inspirational issues for groups (relates to Priest)
Mercurial: witty, quick, wiry; good for lifetimes dealing with expression one on one (relates to Artisan) Jovial: round, fleshy, large; good for lifetimes dealing with being in a central position of expression for others (relates to Sage)
Martial: fiery, reactive, high-energy; good for lifetimes dealing with actions affecting people one on one (relates to Warrior) Venusian: soft, sensual, warm, charismatic; good for lifetimes dealing with being open, approachable, and accessible to larger groups (relates to King)
Solar: bright, spirited, small and frail; good for lifetimes needing to be in the center of everything (relates to Scholar)
*A note on Body Types: There are no "pure" Body Types. There is usually a combination of two to three influences. In addition there are three "eccentric" Body Types that a person can have for some of their more extraordinary lives. They are Plutonian, Neptunian, and Uranian. They are rare and specific so we won't go into those here.
There are 7 Centers and you may recognize them as relative to the Chakras if you are familiar with Chakras. As you study the Michael Teachings, you will find that while there are similarities, there are also very different ways in which "Center" is used as opposed to "chakra".
Though there are 7 Centers, a human body usually only uses one Center habitually.
There are "higher" and "lower" Centers but they are not better or worse; the "higher" and "lower" only refer to the level they are sourced from and affect. The "lower" Centers are more of the Physical Plane and affect the body, while the "higher" Centers are more spiritual and affect our connections beyond the Physical. Since so much energy is involved in the sustaining of experience in the "higher" Centers, it is extremely rare to be Centered in a "higher" Center, but instead they are Centers accessed for specific purposes. The "higher" Centers are accessed through either practice, meditation, randomly, or through intense trauma.
The 7 Centers are:
Instinctive: this center travels with you from life to life like a floppy disc. It stores all of your experiences ever gathered and all of your areas of growth still needed and all the areas you have come to peace with. It isn't very intelligent, but is more a storehouse and protective device. It is where all of your past lives are remembered and even this lifetime's history. It is very automatic. Higher Moving Center: this is the Center relating to a pure connection and recognition of ENERGY. It is pure creativity and recognition of beauty as it is. It is experienced when you feel awe in seeing a landscape or piece of art, for example, or when you feel completely connected to everything around you, seeing its perfection as it is. This is the most accessed of the "higher" Centers and sex can sometimes trigger it. Moving Center: this is the Center that governs our body movements and actions. Those who are Moving Centered are action-oriented and take in life through their bodies. Emotional Center: this is the Center that governs our sense of connection to others emotionally and within ourselves. Those who are Emotionally Centered take in life through their feelings. Intellectual Center: this Center governs our beliefs and thoughts and communication. Those Intellectually Centered take in life through analysis and reasoning. Higher Emotional Center: this Center is your pure sense of LOVE, total, complete unconditional Love, or as Michael calls it, "agape" (pronounced a-GOP-ee). It is felt when you completely allow yourself or another to behave, think, be, in any way that comes but without fear or judgment. Higher Intellectual Center: this is the Center where absolute TRUTH is experienced, where whole complete insights and "knowing" reside.
Although these descriptions are far from complete, they are good starting points and you will be most concerned with only the Moving, Emotional, and Intellectual Centers at first.
PARTS & TRAPS:
Knowing yours or someone else's Centering is truly helpful in understanding how a person takes in life, but there's more: the PART of the Center.
Within each Center resides actually ALL other Centers, kind of like a pie. So the Intellectual Center, for instance, will have an Emotional Part, an Instinctive Part, a Higher Emotional Part, etc., even an Intellectual Part (pure Intellect then).
These PARTS are how the person puts their experience back out into the world after taking it in!
They are also called TRAPS because a person can get so caught up in using only that PART that they forget to balance themselves with other parts. For instance, a person might be Intellectually Centered/Emotional Part. This means they take in life through what makes sense to them: observation and analysis; but then bring it back out into the world through Emotions, meaning they might get very emotional over their thoughts, but have no way of getting it out. The Emotional Center has no "voice", so the Intellectual Center can get caught in a Trap, thinking, analyzing and reasoning, leading them back to emotions that then go back through reasoning, giving rise to more emotions, etc. Eventually something has to give. What will then happen is that person might act out with their Moving Center. They might get angry and lash out, or they might actually cry, taking an action that helps get them out of the Emotional Trap.
Most people have their Centering and Parts in the "lower" Centers, such as Emotional Center/Moving Part.
Remember that many solutions are found in bringing in the neglected Center of the main three (Moving, Intellectual, Emotional). If you are Emotionally Centered, Moving Part, you will have to bring in the Intellect in order to balance yourself. This means that you need to add THOUGHTS and COMMUNICATION to your ACTIONS as you react to FEELINGS.
To help you understand each PART/Trap, I will share the ways I understand them:
INTELLECTUAL PART: This person will have lessons around how to take the input from their basic Centering and express that back out into the world appropriately. They may be excellent at communicating, but they will still have a spectrum of lessons and challenges in this area.
EMOTIONAL PART: This person will have lessons around how to take the input from their basic Centering and how to process the feelings that arise from it. They may have deep emotions, but have little way of actually showing it. This is their challenge then in many cases.
MOVING PART: This person will have lessons around how to take input from their basic Centering and how to actually behave as a reaction. They have a lot of energy, but they are learning how to direct that appropriately back out of their bodies.
There are 7 Chief Negative Features (or fears) that you choose from in your teens. You usually choose two. One is your PRIMARY CHIEF FEATURE and the other is your Secondary. The Primary affects and challenges your attaining your GOAL, therefore affecting more of your personal experiences, and the Secondary affects and challenges your MODE, therefore affecting more of your relationships and intimacy issues.
The 7 Chief Features are:
Self-Deprecation: fear of Inadequacy; your not being able to live up to yours or someone else's standards, leaving you weak, insecure, and incompetent. Fear of NOT BEING ENOUGH. Arrogance: fear of Vulnerability; wanting others to live up to your standards, or fearing your standards not counting, leaving you vulnerable, judgmental, isolated, and alone as you are seen as not needing others. Fear of BEING TOO MUCH.
Self-Destruction: fear of Worthlessness; feeling that you have no worth or value unless dead or dying for someone/something else, leaving you with ongoing sacrifices for others with no gain for anyone, even extending into getting a terminal disease. Fear of GETTING TOO MUCH. Greed: fear of Scarcity; feeling that you won't get all that is out there of worth to you personally; leaving you fixated on one or two things that you cannot satisfy as a way to maintain your sense of self. This can be food, affection, sex, money, even vague things like not enough "love". Fear of NOT GETTING ENOUGH.
Martyrdom: fear of Losing Control; a strong need for being in control of everything in your space even though that is impossible. This leaves you feeling victimized, burdened, and complaining. Fear of LOSING CONTROL OF SPACE. Impatience: fear of Missing Out; you are always fighting the clock, trying to control before being controlled, leaving you intolerant and agitated. Fear of LOSING CONTROL OF TIME.
Stubbornness: fear of Change; you cannot and will not deal with anything new and against your already-set opinions, ideas, and environment. Some people who have Stubbornness actually can appear like they are adventurous and changeable, but look closely to see if they are actually creating "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Constant change can just be a way of avoiding dealing with actual changes. Fear of ANYTHING DIFFERENT.
If you have read through the entire Introduction, you have just touched on all the very basics of the Teachings! This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it gets more and more familiar as you start to apply it.
Some people are comfortable with the word "God", some are not. Some find the word "God" to be limiting, lacking the enormity of this wonderful source of life and beauty around us. Michael actually prefers not to use the word "God;" using the Eastern term "Tao," instead (pronounced DOW but with a hard "D", like TDOW; meaning: the way).
Michael has explained that we (especially those of the European Culture, or Western Civilization) have turned the word "God" into something far from what is true on a universal level. To help us move away from the stereotypes and limited images of "God," Michael uses the term "Tao," which brings with it no preconceived limitations or personifications.
You may use whatever term you personally prefer. Michael, nor any Michael Students or Channels, have any rules about this in any way. Just remember that when Michael speaks of "Tao", they are referring to the general, unlimited energy that others may call "The Universe," or "Love," or "God," or "All-That-Is."
Regardless of the name, most people seem to have some form of recognition of a higher source of which we are all a part and in which we all reside. Michael's teachings supports the concept that this source does exist in some way.
Michael says that we are always connected to the "Tao;" always residing within that source, even if we tend to forget. It's actually natural for us to "forget," since each lifetime generates a new body with a new brain in which our soul must work to rebuild, or return to, conscious awareness. As we gain experience over many lifetimes, we tend to regain that awareness more quickly within a lifetime.
IN THE BEGINNING...
According to Michael, the Tao brilliantly exploded out "fragments" of itself as a means to explore Itself and the universes It created. These "sparks" (or "Essences" or "Souls") are imbued with the same freedom as the Tao, to do what they wish, explore what they wish, experience what they wish, interact as they wish, and generally experience everything possible! This freedom allows the Tao unlimited creativity and exploration as these souls run around being creative and experimental out on their own! With all of this creativity and curiosity, a soul can easily get into trouble, go through painful growth, sadness, loneliness, fears, etc., but those experiences are part of the same spectrum of experiences that includes joy, happiness, abundance, passion, love,...
Nothing is ever actually wasted or lost or bad from the soul's point of view. Because our souls know an absolute sense of safety in the universe, being in a lifetime is much like going to the Movies! While sitting in the theater, we can have a whole spectrum of emotions and experiences as we are pulled into the action and drama of a really good movie, but we ultimately know we are safe and can leave when it's over. Our souls experience the excitement of our lifetimes in a very similar way, except that as the soul gains experience, so does each Personality, and it becomes easier to create far more manageable and enjoyable lifetimes!
If you think of the very basic part of your Essence as being a "spark" of the Tao, then think of those sparks as eventually choosing a kind of "Essence Role" to play in the universe. This "Essence" (or "soul/spark") chooses one of 7 "Roles;" kind of like choosing what kind of car or vehicle to use to travel through the universe on its own. These Roles are not limiting in any way; in fact, over many lifetimes, the ability to BE that Role becomes more important, fun, and easy! It's kind of like learning how to drive faster, easier, and you begin to choose even more exciting terrains!
As you read more about the Michael Teachings, you may find that the terms "Soul," "Essence," and "Role," are used interchangeably for convenience. You will rarely hear the word "spark," but it's included here so you can understand how the Role is chosen.
Your Role stays constant throughout all of your lives and beyond, but continues to improve its means of expression and its way of Being with the additional lifetime and experience.
Now we will briefly cover the 7 Roles that make up the Souls of this Universe.
This is a very simple introduction, so do not get too preoccupied with trying to determine your Role just yet, as it is a bit more complicated than the descriptions here. This is just a BASIC Introduction. It's very important to remember that the names used to identify the Roles are only used for convenience and they are not to be taken literally. For instance, a Priest Essence can be a farmer or a plumber or a murderer; a Server Essence might be a preacher, housewife, or serial killer. The Role describes the PRIMARY WAY OF BEING for a soul, but that can show up in many ways.
Each Role will behave in ways that are terrible and frightening, as well as in ways that are beautiful and enlightening. Each Role has a Positive and Negative Pole, which helps describe the potential spectrum of behavior that a soul can exhibit, with the Negative Pole being more fearful and the Positive Pole being more loving. We will cover the Polarities, later.
Sometimes the Role is hard to detect because of several factors that may inhibit expression and behavior, such as parental influences, cultural expectations, gender roles, and environmental conditions, so be patient as you study.
There are 7 Basic "Ways of Being" (Roles) in the universe.
In thinking about a "spark" leaving the Tao and choosing a "Role," it might be helpful to think of it this way:
As a "spark" you are still swimming in the "white light" that is "home" (or Tao) and your soul is still very aware and connected to Tao. When your Spark chose a Role, it was a way of differentiating itself from the Source. Our souls never truly leave the Tao, but they "separate" themselves in a very creative way. Think of white light passing through a prism, separating that original light into 7 visible rays of color that made up that original white light. In the same way that ALL color is still a part of White Light, so are our souls forever a part of the spectrum of the Tao, or God, no matter how separated we may seem to be.
Here are the 7 Roles in Essence:
Servers & Priests:
These are the Inspiration Roles. The Server inspires us one on one, while the Priests inspire us on a mass scale. Servers see the world as their honored guests, while Priests see the world as a congregation or "flock".
Artisans & Sages:
These are the Expression Roles. The Artisan creates and brings new things to the planet, while the Sage entertains and makes us remember how to laugh. The Artisan is more one on one while the Sage likes to affect groups. The Artisan sees the world as a project, like a sculpture or canvas, while the Sage sees the world as an audience or playmates.
Warriors & Kings:
These are the Action Roles. The Warriors stand as our protectors and builders, getting us motivated and instilling loyalty, while the King leads us into action as a group. The Warrior sees the world as territory or challenges, while the King sees a kingdom or realm.
This is the only "Neutral" Role, meaning it is the centerpiece and mediator of all other Roles. The Scholar studies life and observes, sometimes in strange ways, but always submerged in something their soul finds important to study, ranging from addictions and fear to science and wisdom. This Essence studies so often that it is actually the life itself that becomes the study. This is the most versatile Role and can sometimes seem quite the chameleon. The Scholar sees the world as an object of interest or study.
Although there are only 7 Roles from which to choose in the universe, this is in no way a limitation to the soul. There are many, many factors in addition to the Role that makes each soul so unique!