Message for the Week
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It Is More Blessed to Give Than to Receive, Part 1 of Chapter 4 of Awakening Love
It Is More Blessed to Give Than to Receive, Part 1 of Chapter 4 of Awakening Love
Love is not so much a feeling as a doing, and that doing is essentially a giving of any number of things. When you give love to someone, you are giving them your attention, respect, openness, compassion, gentleness, curiosity, care, and kindness. These are all components of love. When you give someone love, you stop all other doing and give them yourself. In that moment, you are open and willing to listen and respond to them from a place of love and wisdom. The most valuable gift you can give someone is love, and it’s a gift that benefits the giver at least as much as the receiver.
What does giving love look like? I said that love is a doing, but this doing often looks simply like receptivity and openness. The reason this is a doing is that your default is to not be open and receptive but to be the taker, to try to get something from others. It might just be attention or admiration, but that’s still an attempt to get something for oneself. So, what you have to do to be with others from a place of love is to not do what the ego would do.
This act of not doing is a choice—a doing. To love, you have to stop doing whatever you’re doing and thinking and then consciously choose to not do or say what is most automatic and conditioned. Then, you have to choose to do what love would have you do: Give the person in front of you your full attention, willingly, patiently, and with kindness and goodwill.
The greatest act of love is to be fully present to someone. Love receives others where they are. You allow them to be as they are, you accept them, listen to them, send love to them, and possibly at some point speak to them from your Heart, the spiritual Heart.
Did you know that love has a voice? It does. It speaks to you intuitively, and then you give it a voice. You become a mouthpiece for love, for the Divine. But this can only happen if you are in a state of love: receptive, open, kindly, and willing to be used in this way.
Many who are in their egos want to be helpful, and so they try to help from that state of consciousness. Sometimes, they’re able to dip into love long enough to deliver its wisdom. But often what they offer comes from their own conditioned mind, which may not be helpful and may even be harmful. The mind just doesn’t have the answers for the needs of the moment. Only the moment has these answers, and for that, you have to be in the moment, not in your head.
So many of the questions people have about their life and the things they struggle with are not the needs of the moment but a problem their own egoic mind has created unnecessarily. The solutions to these so-called problems do not and will not arise from the moment. Instead, the egoic mind will offer its solutions: The mind creates the problem and then offers its own solutions. The only true solution that could arise from the moment to such problems would be the Truth: Your own egoic mind is causing you to suffer.
The egoic mind creates all sorts of imaginary problems, and imaginary problems have no real solutions. But that is for you to discover. Many of you on the spiritual path have already discovered this. And yet, the egoic mind keeps coming up with imaginary problems, because that’s what minds do.
Most of these so-called problems have to do with the ego’s desires. The ego has endless desires that feel very important and true, and not having these met seems like a real problem and cause for sadness, anger, or feeling bad about oneself: “How dare life not fulfill my desires! Nothing ever works out for me. I’m just a failure.”
But often, the only problem is that the ego’s desires are unrealistic or not aligned with divine will and with how life is currently unfolding. The ego makes life all about itself, but maybe the time isn’t right for something, or maybe it just isn’t in the cards. So many things are just not under the ego’s control.
The ego doesn’t believe and doesn’t recognize that each moment contains whatever is needed for that moment, and that whatever Life isn’t providing isn’t necessary at that time. There might even be a good reason, in terms of one’s soul’s growth, for something not being provided. Life has a plan for every individual, and the ego’s desires often have little to do with that.
If the ego were able to see that it doesn’t need what it thinks it needs to be happy, there would be no problem and no suffering. But that is easier said than done. The ego is in the business of wanting things that are not showing up in life and not wanting things that are showing up in life, and that is the trouble. It’s a no-win situation, which is why the ego is rarely happy.
Because the ego’s problems are not real problems, the only real solution is to see this. Then, letting go of the particular desire that’s causing the suffering and dropping into real life, which is unfolding exactly as it needs to, is possible. Unfortunately, most people aren’t ready for such wisdom and such a solution. So, they seek answers to their ego-generated problems from other egos or their own and spend their time trying to get something they think they need to be happy.
This striving to get rather than receiving and fully experiencing what life is offering in the moment and being grateful for that—for what is—is the disease that is the ego. Since there’s no end to the ego’s need to get more, for those in the egoic state of consciousness, life becomes all about getting. Their ongoing experience is one of never having enough and always striving for more. Their thirst is never quenched and their hunger never satisfied. This is the state most people find themselves in and the reason so many are unhappy.
If something isn’t capable of making you happy for long, such as power, money, recognition, or material things, then getting more of those things is not the solution to making you happy. The answer is to go after what is capable of making you happy.
Love and happiness can’t be found in getting things or even in getting love, at least not for long. Love and happiness belong to a state of consciousness that is only arrived at by letting go of the ego’s perception that it needs to get something from outside itself to be happy, including love from others. The belief that happiness lies outside oneself is one of the lies that keeps people tied to the egoic state of consciousness. The truth is that getting what the ego wants doesn’t get you what you really want: love, peace, joy, contentment, and wisdom.
You may not be aware that what you really want is love, peace, joy, contentment, and wisdom. You might be very attached to what your ego wants: You really want power, money, recognition, admiration, security, comfort, or beautiful material possessions. Can you see that you want both what the ego wants and what your true self wants? The problem is denying that you want what your true self wants and focusing exclusively on what your ego wants. As I said earlier, what you focus on, becomes magnified in your awareness. The ego’s desires become bigger than life, quite literally.
What if you focused on what is more real and true than the ego’s desires: love, peace, joy, contentment, and wisdom? What if those were your priority? You can still go after power, money, and the other things the ego wants, and your pursuit of these will be much more balanced and less selfishly motivated.
There are many in your world today who have both wealth and love, who attained their wealth because they stayed true to love, joy, and their innate wisdom. They allowed themselves to be guided by something higher, and that resulted in an abundant life on every level.
There are also plenty of examples of what it looks like when someone is driven solely by the ego’s desires. Those individuals are not happy despite having what the ego wants. Why not learn from them? They are your teachers in this regard.
What will it be? Will you be a getter or a giver? The good news is that if you choose to be a giver, you will also “get” great blessings from life, including possibly the things the ego wants. The same is not true if you choose to be a getter. That is a lonely and unsatisfying path, as anything you do receive from life will never be enough.
Do you believe that “it is more blessed to give than to receive”? What you believe is important. The ego doesn’t believe this, which is why this truth needs to be articulated. You have to be taught this because your default is to believe the opposite. The ego laughs at this teaching. The ego is a taker, not a giver. To it, giving is a sign of weakness and weakens you.
Giving makes the ego feel diminished, while amassing what it wants makes it feel good about itself. Too bad what it’s trying to amass isn’t love! The ego believes that there’s only so much to go around, which may be true of material things but certainly not true of love.
The ego is like a miser constantly counting his stack of coins to see if he is ahead in life or behind, as if life is a game of poker or Monopoly. The ego is afraid it will end up a loser. It assesses its winning and losing with measurable things, such as the size of one’s bank account, the number of awards, the size of one’s house, the expensiveness of one’s cars and clothing, or the number of followers on social media.
When I said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God,” this is the kind of rich person I was referring to. What I was saying then is what I am saying here: The egoic state of consciousness, with its emphasis on accumulating money and things rather than cultivating love, makes it very difficult to discover that the “the kingdom of God is within you.”
This kingdom refers to your inherent divinity—God is within you! That subtle realm where love abides is where God abides within you. That love, that goodness, is God’s presence within you. But, of course, the miser isn’t interested in that. He is too in love with other things, things that don’t satisfy.
The ego definitely believes that it is more blessed to receive than to give, but the ego has it backwards. And when you believe something about life that isn’t true, you will suffer, because that’s how Life teaches you the Truth. When you don’t go in the direction of love, you suffer; when you do, you don’t suffer. Life is designed to teach love.
The Golden Rule, from Awakening Love, Part 2 of Chapter 3
The Golden Rule, from Awakening Love, Part 2 of Chapter 3
Staying connected to your divine self in the presence of others is complicated by the fact that most people are identified with their egos, and that can easily draw out yours. When people encounter each other, the ego is usually the first on the scene.
This tendency to identify with your ego when you are around others is overcome by simply noticing this. Notice that your ego is right there with its criticisms, comparisons, evaluations, and judgments. That’s your ego doing that, not your divine intelligence, and it’s not doing this out of love, but sizing the other up to see how you measure up.
Just notice this, and then find that which is within you that is curious about this encounter: “What will happen next? What will this person say or do? What will I say or do?” The divine self is a curious witness to life. It doesn’t pretend to have answers to these questions but eagerly awaits what it will discover.
When the divine self has something to say, it jumps into conversations with wisdom, lightness, love, playfulness, gentleness, acceptance, and compassion. Your divine self and someone else’s can be recognized by those qualities. The divine self often brings a higher or more light-hearted perspective than the usual one, and what is spoken rings true and makes everyone relax and feel at ease.
The divine self is a channel for wisdom and love in the world, and if you align with it, you will be used as such a channel. This is very different than you being used by the ego, which spreads hate, fear, anger, judgment, prejudices, and other negativity. There, in the last two sentences, is that mysterious you again. You are either an instrument of the ego or of the divine self. And you can choose.
Before you are awakened, you are an instrument and expression of the ego more than the divine self, but not exclusively. After spiritual awakening, you become an instrument and expression of the divine self, and only occasionally express the ego in detrimental ways. That is the difference before and after spiritual awakening.
I hasten to add that it’s not your fault that you are used by the ego. It can be no other way. You are designed with the ego as your default, and until you are ready to awaken, you will go through the lessons and trials associated with this. So, please be compassionate with yourself and others. “Forgive them for they know not what they do” and forgive yourself. The challenge of having an ego creates the drama, difficulties, and experiences your soul needs and is willing to have in order to grow in certain ways. There is no mistake in this. This is part of everyone’s divine plan.
How to be in relationship is clear from the Golden Rule: Be with and treat others in a way that you would like them to be with you and treat you. However, as for how to help and give to others in specific circumstances, the Golden Rule isn’t as helpful. It isn’t always the case that doing something for someone that you would want done for you would be beneficial or what someone wants or in someone’s best interests.
For instance, giving someone something you would like isn’t necessarily what that person would like or need. Or giving your child cookies when she’s sad isn’t really in her best interest. Even giving someone help when asked might not be what that soul needs to grow. Indiscriminate giving can cause dependency and stunt someone’s growth.
Fortunately, you’ve been provided with a moment-to-moment guidance system that helps you determine what to do, what to give, and what to say in specific circumstances. The catch is that this guidance system can only be accessed in reality, in the moment, by being present to real life, not through the mind. Your divine self provides answers to how to live your life through intuitions, insights, urges, motivation, inspirations, excitement, and joy. This is how you are steered through life.
Your mind will also give you answers if you let it. But like consulting an 8-ball, the answers you get from your mind might be right for some moment but not necessarily for the current one. Furthermore, if you’re listening to your mind, you are likely to miss your divine self’s subtle communications, which are generally wordless and experienced energetically in the body, not in the mind.
The problem with the voice in your head’s advice is that it looks to conditioning for answers. Although conditioning is useful and even necessary, it isn’t the place to turn for answers for how to live your life. Conditioning offers some general rules and guidelines, and that’s about it: “Don’t cross the street before looking both ways,” “Drink plenty of water,” “Don’t lie on your taxes.” These guidelines are only so useful.
For how to live your life, something much wiser is needed, and it exists in the same place that love exists: in the present moment. The present moment is rich! This isn’t obvious from the egoic state of consciousness. It seems like there’s nothing of much interest in the relatively slow moment-to-moment unfolding of life—and there isn’t, to the ego.
The ego is like a child who’s been spoiled with too many toys, who now finds everything boring. The mind’s virtual reality is like a wonderland of toys, with anything you can imagine going on and all the drama and excitement of a rollercoaster ride. This is what TV and movies are like too. So much is going on in them that real life seems boring. So, people keep turning to their mind, TV, and movies for fun, excitement, and to feel good.
There’s nothing wrong with entertainment and fun, but that isn’t what life is about. Real life isn’t happening in your mind or on TV or in the movies. At a certain point, you have to engage in real life. You have to have a life. The more time you spend in virtual reality, whether in your own mind or in someone else’s, such as TV or the movies, the more dissatisfied you’ll be with real life and the less functional you’ll be. You have to do life to become good at it. Getting good at video games won’t teach you how to be in life, only life can.
People want to escape into virtual reality because participating in life is more challenging than observing it. In real life, you have to make choices and take actions, and sometimes you’re not happy. While you are watching TV or movies or involved in your fantasies, you get to put your problems and negative feelings on hold. For the time being, you don’t have to deal with them.
When you do this habitually, you are coping with your problems and feelings through escapism rather than cultivating other, healthier ways to feel better, such as meditating, walking in nature, listening to music, watching the breeze move through the trees, or just sitting quietly. These simple activities and any number of other real-life activities will drop you into a place where insights and your inner wisdom, inspiration, creativity, and inner guidance are accessible. This is also where you can gain perspective on your so-called problems and heal your feelings.
TV, movies, and your own fantasies do nothing to help you cope with your feelings and life, and they keep you from dropping into a state of love and peace. And when you’re engaged in such escapist activities, you probably aren’t learning real-life skills. That means that when you return to real life, you are worse off than when you left it. All you’ve accomplished is reinforcing the egoic state of consciousness, which is the problem to begin with.
This is the situation more and more young people find themselves in, not to mention adults. In spending so much time in virtual reality, young people aren’t learning how to cope with being in the world except by escaping it, and no one in the real world, in school or elsewhere, is teaching them an alternative.
And worse, by watching so much violence on TV, in movies, and in video games, young people are getting the message that violence is the way to cope with their problems and feelings, and no one is teaching them an alternative to that either.
Furthermore, their ego’s fantasies and desires are being stoked in a way that will only cause greater disappointment and disillusionment with real life and with their own imperfections. They will never be as beautiful, brilliant, athletic, talented, or charismatic as the heroes and heroines in films, but they will suffer over wanting to be.
Subtly and not so subtly, TV and the movies are affecting children in highly negative ways—and they affected those of you who are now adults in ways you may not realize. Children and teens are, and you were, deeply conditioned by what you see on TV and the movies, much more than you probably realize.
Your society’s values were and are being shaped by these stories, many of which are extremely brutal and dark. You think nothing of seeing violence, horror, murder, rape, and torture. On a daily basis, you are exposed to the worst possible experiences a human being can have.
It would be foolish to think that seeing this has no impact. Human beings are continually being conditioned by what they see and experience, and you are vicariously experiencing every manner of horror. The only way to cope with this is to become desensitized to violence and horror, and that is what’s happened. That’s the effect that viewing these things has had on you and is having on your children.
What has this to do with love? First of all, if you’re spending time in virtual reality, in your own mind’s or someone else’s, you’re not spending time in real relationships, which is where you learn to love. And if you are cut off from real life, you’re cut off from the love of your true nature and from a rich experience of life that will fulfill you.
Many shows are much like a nightmare, with egos suffering and causing suffering. These shows reinforce the ego’s viewpoint that life is scary, people are dangerous, and there’s a disaster or tragedy around every corner. Doom and gloom seem to be the nature of life. It’s easy to conclude that terrible things could and probably will happen to you, and that is neither true nor helpful. However, the more involved you are with the egoic mind, the more negative your reality is likely to become. Like attracts like.
These shows keep you tied to the egoic state of consciousness and reinforce the ego’s beliefs about life. It’s difficult to come away from most movies and TV programs without some fear and emotional trauma. Don’t kid yourself: Seeing tragedy, horror, violence, and human beings behaving badly and cruelly affects you. And children, who are just forming their ideas about themselves and the world, are especially affected by this.
The problem is that the more people who are entrenched in the egoic state of consciousness, the harder it is for everyone to break free from it, and the harder it is to be content with real life and to discover the love, goodness, and beauty within humanity and yourself.
This is why there is so much negativity on your shows: Those creating them are, themselves, immersed in the ego’s point of view, or they would be producing nature shows or something uplifting or educational. Then, like a virus, this state of consciousness is spread to others. The media is powerful. It’s a shaper of beliefs and consciousness, not only a reflector of consciousness.
What goes on in most movies and TV shows is definitely not the Golden Rule. What you are being shown, instead, is the ego on steroids—not just an ordinary ego but often a pathological one. Because bad behavior is so common on TV and in the movies, it seems like this is just the way life is. It’s what people do—they kill each other and rape and lie and cheat, right? Human beings are animals, right? In many shows, there is little acknowledgment of your divine nature, as if it doesn’t exist or exists only as a weak religious impulse.
Such a ready acceptance and dismissal of violence is the first step in creating a violent society. By exposing yourselves to the worst violence and abuses through virtual reality, the door is opened in humanity’s consciousness to living out these possibilities. You, yourself, may not be inclined in this direction, but there are many who are, and these shows contribute to their instability and criminal tendencies. These shows model pathological and criminal behavior, and the rest of you—your egos—are fascinated by such behavior.
Violence on TV, in the movies, and in video games is extremely unhealthy for society. It’s taking more of a toll on society and on your spiritual growth than you may realize. But this is the stage humanity is at, and many other civilizations on other worlds have had to go through this stage as well.
With free will and freedom come some very bad choices, which often aren’t learned from until a great deal of damage has been done. Your world will learn as others have, and in that sense, it will be okay. But since I’m writing about love, this insidious promoter and reinforcer of hate and violence must be named.
The divine self knows how to love, and if you give it half a chance, you will experience its love and guidance. But you have to give love a chance by turning off TV, movies, video games, and social media; tuning out the incessant chatter of the voice in your head; and tuning in to the subtle realm, where the Divine lives and breathes as you. Out of that realm flows love.