Exposing the Con Man
By Cathy Eck
Many people are waking up these days to the truth of life. They are emerging from a long coma where they believed that life was about pain, suffering, and hard work. The ones who are most awake are often the children, the artists who follow their creative instincts, and the people who we judge as lazy or unmotivated. Others are burnt out executives or moms who realize their children are far wiser than most adults.
Recently, young adults were asked if they believed in God. The most common answer was “kind of.” Funny answer, but it represents the times we live in where the reign of the false god who punishes, judges, and sits on a cloud is no longer believable.
More and more people are declaring themselves atheists or agnostics. When you ask them about their spiritual perspective, they often say that they see a divine order to the universe that could be labeled God; they just don’t believe in the Old Testament punishing God. Our American Founding Fathers would have given exactly the same answer; that’s why they wanted freedom from religion. The message has taken a long time to sink in.
These free thinking people realize that Adam and Eve didn’t fall out of paradise because they can see that they have personally created their paradise or their hell all along. They realize that Jesus didn’t save us from our sins because people are still sinning. Education has caused children to acknowledge that animals two-by-two on an ark screams of mythology rather than history.
Many people have had visions or near death experiences where they felt the presence of unconditional love, without any judgment day. How we get to the perspective where we see through the illusions that have imprisoned humans for thousands of years is unique for everyone. But we do all get there; and it seems that now is a time that is very ripe for picking the fruit from the Tree of Life.
For me, it took a long time to be certain that I was going in the right direction. I, like most people, was told those old stories as a child when my eyes were wide open and my imagination would accept anything. I was very afraid of pissing off the Old-Man-in-the-Sky God. I didn’t have any mystical experiences or see any burning bushes. If I did, I certainly didn’t notice them. I had to challenge and clean out my own mind. At first, I just wanted to be a better person. Eventually, I recognized that I rarely judged others. I wasn’t jealous. I didn’t believe in war or punishment anymore. So to believe in a God that judged, punished, or told people to go to war was believing in a God that was at a lower place in life than I was. And yes, that sounded arrogant at first. But reason told me that virtually no one was as judgmental or punishing as the Old Testament God. He was a real piece of work; the direct reflection of the worst of man, not the best of him.
Now it is so apparent, and often painful, when people try to tell me to believe in that false God. They have to judge and even punish me within their own mind in order to see me in that light. I feel how separate we are from each other in those moments, and it feels terrible. But I’ve made peace with it. I can see the love in their eyes as they try to save me from their imagined eternal damnation.
Sadly, when we believe in a low-level god, we live a low-level life where we separate ourselves from everyone. We condemn others without walking in their shoes. We don’t question our own judgments or jealous moments because if it’s good enough for God; it’s good enough for us.
As I let go of judgments or prejudices in the past, I usually remember the events where I accepted such beliefs as real or true. I remember the person that I believed knew more than my own True Self; and it looks so stupid now. Until challenged, however, their beliefs lived in my mind as real, live history. I felt I needed permission to let the beliefs go from my mind. That was just another belief.
Confidence (Con) Man
I was watching a show on television recently called “Scammed.” It described some of the tricks of the con (or confidence) man. Confidence is one of the attributes that causes us to label someone a star or god. When we have confidence, we feel like we can conquer the world. When we see it in another, we trust it as a sign of spirituality or success. It’s not a bad quality when used for win-win purposes; and a truly spiritual person would only use it in that way.
Confidence, however, lost its luster, when people started to use it for win-lose purposes. It all began with the lust-filled Lords (or Gods) of the ancient world. One of the tricks of the con man was to instill guilt in the person for not trusting you. Think about that very slowly. They are conning you and you see it, but they say there is something wrong with you for not trusting them. I’ve seen that one many times in my own life; and I fell for it every time until I saw the game. I’d feel the pull (the desire) to trust the person, and simultaneous feel the guilt for not being able to do so.
How silly? I felt guilty for not trusting a person who was not worthy of trust. The con man, on the other hand, project their own deserved guilt on their prey so completely that they feel no guilt for being untrustworthy. A little guilt in their world might do some good. But we accept their projection, which sets them free and keeps us stuck.
People often tell me that they feel guilt and shame but don’t know why. The answer is simple. They’ve been conned. They’ve probably got a con man for a teacher, parent, or friend. They are wearing a cloak of guilt that belongs to someone else.
Another trick was to give you a chance to do something that you saw as virtuous or good to alleviate the feeling of greed for making money in their scam. The feeling associated with greed would naturally stop the person from overspending. But the con man wants us to keep going and to accept their deal. The con man would say, “Buy it today so you can help me make my monthly quota and save my job.” The sense of wanting to be of service gets turned on like a fluorescent light. The con man assures his success by playing the card called “a need to be of service to others.” Every religion preaches service. But if we all lived from our True Selves no one would ever need service, although we still might enjoy it.
But the one con man that still gets me is the feeling of guilt when I expose their game. I feel so sorry for them. I’m that kid saying “Look, the emperor has no clothes.” I’m embarrassed that I see it and no one else does. I feel like I’ve destroyed their only means of survival. I don’t want them to be embarrassed even though they totally deserve to be so.
It is strange to feel that way. I will sometimes even feel like I hurt their feelings. But recognition is slowly destroying these false patterns within my mind, and it will for you too. The truth does set them free even if it hurts. Their con artist role is just a role. It’s not who they are. It’s keeping them out of paradise too. When it doesn’t work any longer, they will also get on the fast-train to unconditional love. No one gets left behind in the end.
The con man on “Scammed” was very clear that he was using old, widely accepted beliefs to make himself rich. The foundation of the con man’s trickery is thousands of years old. It seems that since the beginning of recorded history, it’s been a known fact among the rich and powerful that instilling guilt and shame in people (which are not emotions that we are born with) gets people to do what you want them to do. Religion takes that idea to an art form.
The Con “Man” is Losing His Power
The “Man’s” time is up on this planet. He’s the one that is going to be bound in the end times. His minions appear all over the place and especially in the churches, businesses, and governments. But the minions only obey because they think they have to. They have bought into the illusion which says, “If you can’t beat them, join ’em.”
The “Man” created a nice illusion and sold it to everyone for a very long time. He’s afraid of dying, and even more afraid of being exposed. So the con man has many tricks to keep people within his tiny, little world. Mostly, he just dishes up the old familiar guilt and shame. Unfortunately, the tinier the con man, the more hungry he or she is for power. (I don’t want to be sexist. While men started the game, women have caught on to the game quite nicely.)
The Destructive Power of Guilt
If a tiger comes up behind us, we feel fear. Our motor starts running so we can hightail it to the bushes. But guilt just drains us. Shame stops us in our tracks. We move into a self-absorbed mode of thinking. We start to think in circles that do not end. Guilt and shame are emotions that another puts on you. And then they leave and you continue to put them on yourself. They hold you hostage without any bars until you fulfill their requirement. You get stuck in another person’s illusion. In the case of religion, they made a punishment without parole. Men do those kinds of horrible things; not God. And that is all that we need to know to set ourselves completely free from the Con “Man.”
The modern con man has many masks. Over time, the game has continued. But the con “Man” has many new faces. In fact, he or she now often uses the masks that we have most trusted and honored in the past. He uses positions of authority where we automatically place ourselves in an inferior position. These faces look really good on the surface. But once we eliminate any guilt and shame and dispose of our judgments and prejudices, we can see through the mask. Here are a few masks that they often wear:
The clergy, guru, or inspirational speaker who pretends to be enlightened or free while you must submit to years of karma clearing and discipleship. They key is that they want your submission to their beliefs. Truth is free. It is available to everyone. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t hear normal people expressing great truths in ordinary circumstances. Little children are born hard-wired for wisdom. Sure, people can often use a little boost to find it within themselves if they have gotten off track; but after they find it, they are their own masters. They don’t need anyone to tell them what to do.
People used to say that I was selling a different belief system. I was a bit conned by them; I didn’t want to do that. I realized that when you are stuck in a world of beliefs, you can’t see beyond that world. You imagine everyone has beliefs, and someone with no beliefs is your ultimate enemy. On some level, we realize that beliefs consume our power. So people with less beliefs look like a big threat to believers. These people also hate the True Self, even their own. They live in a very tightly guarded prison. I will never sell anyone a belief. But there is not a belief out there that I won’t help anyone let go.
Spoiler alert: The only people who need lifetimes to heal their karma or ascend to heaven are those selling the lies that it takes lifetimes or that heaven is someplace else. That is their illusion. Don’t buy it. You see people often have great conviction (con man again) about their beliefs. And when you are sure a belief is true, it is true for you. The con man spins great stories. In order for a teacher or guru to rise above their own limiting belief, they need lots and lots of followers to serve as a reflection for their flawed perspective. They need you to live their belief taking lifetimes to heal your karma so they can magically be enlightened today.
I first saw this trick as a teen when I went to church with some friends. I never felt judgment toward another in my life before that day. But after sitting in the presence of the priest for an hour, I noticed I heard judgmental thoughts in my mind. I noticed how all the people I was with were gossiping. We were all living the projected illusion of the priest who saw a world filled with judgmental people and gossip. He was telling us who he was, not who we were.
Likewise, people tell me all the time how they see love around their guru, and I have only one thing to say about that. They are seeing their own love projected outward. They don’t need a guru to see their love; the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The politician (leader) who sees all the problems that he or she needs to fix to save the world. They sell you their world, and they tell you how they will fix it. If they blame what they see on another, they both share the same worldview. In truth, if a leader doesn’t see a problem in the world or let’s go of the problems s/he sees, the problems will disappear very quickly.
So in America, we keep electing people who see economic problems and war. We’ve believe their perspective — their illusion. People can only tell you about the world of their own imagination. They see their beliefs played out in the screen of life. That is how life works, and we see that clearly as we wake up. We should elect people who see a loving world, but most call them delusional.
It is addicting to be powerful, famous, or rich. But power is a dinner that doesn’t satiate, which is why such people always want more and more. Ignore it; find paradise within yourself. And you’ll have all the power you need to live your great life. You may actually become well-known, powerful and have all the abundance you could ever want, but you won’t need others to validate it or provide it.
The nice person is often the hardest to see as another type of con man. I still fall into their dangerous trap. They are people who have developed the perfect social persona. They wear the mask so well that you think they just might be the real deal. You hear the pretty words often with a cute accent and then you walk away and feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. This is a reminder that feelings count more than words. People can say one thing and yet mean the opposite in the illusion. When we hear words that generate emotion, our true wise Self is telling us to ignore them. It is reacting to the intended message. Don’t listen to their words even if they sound good. Our false self is sensually oriented. If the words sound pleasing or stroke our ego, we often believe them. If the person is handsome or pretty, we believe them. If the person smells good, we believe them. And worst of all, if they are wearing the right outfit or costume of authority, we believe them when they are really a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Often when we expose the con “Man,” we fall into fear. There is a good reason for this. When we accepted these con people as authorities early in recorded history, we did it out of fear. Our lives were threatened if we did not obey them. No one would choose to be a slave; we were captured and forced into slavery. So the belief and the fear go together. We fear the con “Man.” And, thus we have confused him with God because we were told they were the same.
You see, the “Man” has no power. When we cease to give him our power and our belief, he will die. He isn’t real; he’s an illusion — a cartoon. He lives off our emotions. He has to create constant turmoil, fear, problems, and false solutions to keep us from noticing his mask.
In the ancient world, leaving the illusion behind was called initiation. The initiate’s test was to see his or her own false self’s creations manifest while remembering that it was all a figment of their imagination. The initiate had to remember that they were an omnipotent, unconditionally loving being that was incapable of being destroyed or harmed. Not easy, but that was the task.
As they sat alone for days in a cold, dark chamber, their fears arose within their mind looking very, very real. If they could merely witness the object of their fear and not believe it had power, their imaginary opponent disappeared, vanished into thin air. If they allowed the fear to take over their mind, the opponent became stronger and more powerful until it eventually destroyed their body. Their initiator would return days later and only a dead body would remain. They failed their initiation test.
In modern times, we are all living in the initiation chamber. Beliefs and false experiences are all around us in the form of other people’s illusions. When we believe them, we experience emotion. The emotion only exists in our mind if we believe the illusion has power. If we meet the emotion head on by simply witnessing it and declaring it untrue, it fades away and loses its power. We pass our initiation test.
On the other hand, if we believe the illusion or try to hide it, it gains in power. It eventually manifests and now it appears completely real and true. Most people are living this way and their world is getting more and more dangerous and chaotic. Once their beliefs manifest, it is too hard to fight them off because their minds are completely untrained. They fail their initiation tests again and again while thinking they are victims of circumstance.
If we believe the illusion, it will win; and we will lose. That is how the whole thing was designed. The stories set it up that way. Like the ancient candidate in the mystery school, our own fear was designed to eventually kill us. Submission only buys time and avoids punishment. The illusion always ends with death.
Unconditional love is the greatest power in the universe. The true initiate knew that. As they faced their enemies, they loved them completely. And the enemies melted like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz when she was doused in water. The Wizard who appeared so powerful and angry was exposed as an angry little con man with no power.
Each day, our great work is to expose the angry, little false god (con man) within us. We expose him, declare him untrue, or unconditionally love him until he disappears. And he will if we are persistent. Our true authentic Self returns a little more with each defeat of the con man, and we remember that we are wise, loving, free beings. We are safe. Life returns to paradise.
Then we finally see the big joke. We believed that we could not eat the fruit of the Tree of Life anymore because someone told us so. They lied. They were a con man. It is right there. We only have to reach out and grab it.