No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
What is Level Confusion?
Long ago in the ancient world, men and women learned about life by enrolling in mystery schools. It was said that the initiates entered as mortals and exited as gods. One of the key secrets of the esoteric wisdom that they studied was the ability to discriminate between the two distinct levels of reality. They learned how to choose the level that they wanted to inhabit and to play by the rules or laws of that level.
Level confusion is not an easy concept to explain in words. Many have tried to talk about it through myth and story. For the initiates (the ones with eyes to see and ears to hear) the stories were crystal clear; but to the uninitiated, the stories created even deeper level confusion.
Let me show you what I mean. Here’s a simple and practical example. I was in a very long relationship with a man who valued the character trait of responsibility. I also valued responsibility. So we appeared to be a match made in heaven. However, we constantly argued about responsibility. While we used the same word to describe our value, we held responsibility inside of our minds at different levels of thinking. This created level confusion between us.
From my perspective, my first and only responsibility was to my heart (my true Self). I trusted my feelings. I did not act unless my logic (masculine) and my feelings (feminine) agreed. If I felt calm and peaceful (and my body felt relaxed) as I made my decision, I knew that I was operating from my heart. I knew that I had the big picture and was doing what was best for everyone involved. I didn’t know how I knew this; it just felt natural.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t perfect; I sometimes paid a high price for ignoring my feelings or misinterpreting their signals. When that happened, I knew that I was the cause of my error. But, again, I wasn’t quite sure why I ignored my feelings or misinterpreted their signals because I only knew that I did it in hindsight.
My partner had a completely different perspective on life. He evaluated responsibility based purely on what he did. He led with his intellect and ignored his emotions. He believed that he was responsible because he showed up on time, paid his bills, and was tolerant of others. He saw responsibility as obedience to social rules and morals. He believed that his thoughts had little or no power. Proper actions were his key to life.
If things didn’t go right, he didn’t see himself as the cause because he followed the rules. He often complained about paying his bills, working hard at jobs he didn’t like, or fulfilling people’s ridiculous requests. But he didn’t see any way of fixing his problem.
For many years, we each stayed out of the other’s way. On the surface, we both looked responsible. I, too, was always on time, paid my bills, and was kind to others so there was no serious discord regarding responsibility. However, I appeared lazy to him because I didn’t take actions that were not required. I often sat with a decision for a while until my mind was clear. He frequently reminded me that he was not only responsible, but he was not lazy. What he could not see was that his decisions usually came with a backlash of problems, as did mine when I didn’t follow my heart.
The Backlash of Obedience
Let’s look at an example of backlash. My partner’s client calls and asks him for a favor. My partner doesn’t want to do the favor, but he can’t say no because he wants to be seen as responsible. So he goes out of his way to do the favor even though it doesn’t feel right. He’s miserable the entire time that he is doing the work because he didn’t really want to do it. But he is polite and gives the client the impression that he didn’t mind a bit. The client barely recognizes his effort (after all, he said he didn’t mind); and now my partner is miserable because he didn’t get the approval or reward that he feels he deserves. In addition, he missed out on the fun, relaxing weekend he had planned.
My partner’s mind tells him that he did the right thing. He was responsible. His mind only focuses on the narrow-minded point of view that places him in the victim role; he blames his client for the emotions he feels. He doesn’t notice that he could have said no without sacrificing his responsible reputation since it was a favor. He doesn’t notice that he could have suggested someone else do the work. He forgets that he could have helped the client to see another alternative to solving their problem whereby they didn’t need the work done.
Unlike him, I felt responsible for any backlash from my decisions. I saw problems as feedback so that I could reevaluate my choices and follow my heart the next time around. I didn’t just fix the problem; I looked for the cause. I felt that if you have a problem once, you have a learning experience. If you have it twice, you’re a slow learner. But if you have the same problem three times or more, you’re just plain stupid (or as I later learned, brainwashed).
My partner saw me as unsympathetic. He wasn’t wrong. I didn’t appreciate having to listen to people whine when they could be fixing the cause of their problem. After all, was I unsympathetic for not listening to him whine, or was he unsympathetic to me for thinking I should listen to him whine? Who was right and who was wrong?
Neither of us was right or wrong, we just saw life at different levels of reality. I didn’t understand this until I discovered the esoteric wisdom of the ancient mystery schools.
Why Follow Our Heart?
Why does it matter if we put our heart first? When we go against our heart, we are incongruent. When we are incongruent, we limit our power.
How do I know if I’m following my heart? The esoteric masters taught that when we don’t follow our heart, we experience nervous agitation called emotion. The emotion we feel means that our true Self’s power is currently being restricted by our beliefs or thoughts. Emotion always means the same thing, restriction of power. We can label the emotion fear, excitement, worry, or anger based on our circumstances; but emotion always feels the same and means the same thing.
What about excitement? You may wonder about emotions like excitement, romance, or hope. The idea of positive emotion as a creative force was invented by people who used the esoteric wisdom for personal gain. They were often labeled black magicians. Since they could not free their mind, they invented beliefs that relabeled emotions as favorable to gain power over others.
Today we might call this type of person a drama queen. They seem to thrive in a sea of emotions. That is because they have beliefs that support their way of life. While they are thriving in their emotions, we often feel drained around them because we don’t share their beliefs. However, they do not have real power. And one who has no beliefs or emotions would be far more powerful. Using emotions for power is like battery power. It doesn’t last forever. On the other hand, the real power of a free and pure mind is like owning a power plant.
The Belief-Emotion Connection
Imagine driving down a freeway alone, and you see a completely clear road ahead. You feel a sense of peace, freedom, or flow; but you don’t feel emotion. The feeling of peace is the mirror of your thoughts in that moment. You are most likely thinking something like “Life is great! What a beautiful day! Nothing can get in my way!” In short, you feel powerful.
Now imagine a freeway that is backed up for miles; most people immediately feel emotion with that image. You are still alone in the car so you can’t blame this on another. The emotion you feel is the reflection (mirror) of your thoughts in that moment, not the traffic. “I’m going to be late. I’ll miss my appointment. I want to be home. I’m tired. When will this traffic get going?” Each of these statements is saying the same thing. “I don’t have power.” The emotions are validation that your power is leaking with each thought. Remember emotion means that your power is being restricted. It follows the causal thought.
Whose voice is inside of your mind saying that you don’t have power or control? Those beliefs or voices in our head are our false self. The ancient mystery schools taught that everyone is born as a true Self; and then we create a false self. The false self is a composite of all of the voices of our past and present authority figures that want us to follow their beliefs and their rules.
Our true Self has no beliefs and no rules. When we are afraid of others, we obey them, we ignore our true Self, and we step out of the flow. When we step out of the flow and live someone else’s life, our true Self signals us with emotion. It is incredibly simple. But our false mind has a trick called blame. Instead of seeing our beliefs (and the authority that gave them to us) as the cause for our loss of power, we blame someone or something else. The false self never blames the true cause. If it did, we could fix the problem.
The Power of the Masters
In every moment, we are making the choice between two levels of reality that appear separate but are really the same. Initiates of esoteric wisdom learned to distinguish between these two levels by using emotional feedback. They watched their minds, not the outer world. The initiates corrected their thinking when they felt emotion. They never corrected the outer effects. But as they worked on their minds, the outer world eventually reflected their clear mind. They appeared as masters of the world or gods to ordinary people with beliefs. Often these masters tried to share their secrets, but people could not hear them because their beliefs kept them from having ears to hear.
The ancient world is full of statues and monuments dedicated to the goddess. She represented the feminine emotions that kept these masters in the correct mindset where creativity flowed and unconditional love ruled. The initiates scattered her everywhere as a constant reminder to let go and honor their creative heart.
The Tree of Life versus
The Tree of Good and Evil
The true world or heart level of mind was called living from the tree of life. In this level, you maintained a pure mind and heart. It was said that your heart must be as light as a feather. Now that is pretty damn light.
The tree of life represented a creative and cooperative world because everyone’s true Self was honored equally; no rulers were necessary. There were no superior people, royalty, or elite. No one was an authority over another. Each person was responsible to his or her heart (their true Self), which could never harm another.
People’s were not emotional because masculine (logic) and feminine (emotion) worked together to create in a win-win way. This was heaven where the eternal life force flowed. People were responsible for their creations. If they didn’t like the effects of their thinking, they took responsibility for their error and corrected their causal thoughts. Since they listened to their true Self and discriminated using their emotions, errors were few and far between. Everyone followed the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The other mental level was a false perspective called the tree of knowledge of good and evil. You might notice that it was not called the tree of wisdom of good and evil. Knowledge relates to intellect; this was the patriarchal world.
This illusory view of the world was formed by beliefs in opposing forces and competition. Life was considered a game and players only cared about winning. Relationships were power struggles, and people were outer-directed in order to determine the level of deception they needed to win or look good. Power came from others because the eternal life force was stunted. Those who were takers of power usually won or became rich and powerful leaders. The one in control was the one who made the rules and people gave them power. This level also had a Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.
People who didn’t make the rules felt obliged to obey them. They ignored their heart because they feared the rulers. Since they were unable to easily achieve their desires and dreams, they felt stress, emotional pain, and frustration. But the secret that the emotions were an indicator that the ruler was lying was hidden. If it was not hidden, everyone would have noticed that the Emperor had no clothes.
People blamed one another because they could not understand why they had problems. Overtime everyone in the false world played the game on some level. It was a necessity; if you can’t beat them, join them. They could not blame the rulers because the rulers were usually given lofty titles such as Lord, and they were generally said to be specially appointed by God. So they joined their clubs hoping that the Lords would protect their sheep.
This was hell in the ancient world, but it was labeled reality so normal people would stop trying to escape. That created the level confusion that still exists today. Hell became reality; and heaven rose into the clouds.
Let’s return to my partner for a moment. His goal was to be good by some authority’s standards. He was firmly in the tree of knowledge of good and evil world. He hoped that his obedience would bring rewards and that he’d win or at least stay safe and secure. But he can’t win. In fact, he can’t even stay safe and secure. Safe and secure don’t exist at this level. Responsibility, honesty, and hard work are qualities of the losers in the false world. You have to be a master of deception to win the false world game. And most people are just too good to do that so they lose again and again. They believe the biggest lie of them all, that they will be rewarded when they die. Well they weren’t completely lying because you do get rewarded when you let the false world die. There is yet another example of level confusion.
The illusory false world is not evil and it is not even hell; it is false. The two worlds were not meant to collide. The illusion is not a problem if you know the rules. You take what you can get, you practice the arts of magic and deception, and you try to win it all just like Monopoly. Most really popular games are metaphors for this level of reality. If you are clear that the tree of life rules don’t work in hell, you don’t waste your time with them. If you want to play the game, you play it to win. You don’t feel guilty because guilt and shame were also great inventions of the people who are winning the game.
The stress, pain, emotions, suffering, and disease that most people feel are merely the effects of level confusion. They keep trying to be nice in hell. Have you not noticed that those who are the big players are not suffering?
Or they tell themselves that they are going to heaven when they are firmly entrenched in the win-lose game. Tim Tebow is the perfect example of this. He’s got a great strategy for winning in the illusion. People think he is good when he is playing to win. So they are giving him all their power. He’ll probably run for President one day; he has the right mindset.
As long as we have level confusion, we are stuck between two worlds. We don’t know whom we can trust. And those that want to win the illusory game are well aware that not having the rules makes it hard to compete. So they keep the rules secret. I’m just removing their competitive advantage. Personally, I’m not fond of the illusion game. I like everyone to win. I’m not good at suffering or delaying gratification.
When we let our beliefs go, our natural discernment returns. And when we know what level we are in, we can choose our life experience. We can see clearly and stay on the path that we find most appealing. We can play in the false world; and when we’ve had enough, we can return to the true world where the eternal life force comes in to heal and calm us. Our true Self is always much more powerful than any false self. We just have to make sure that we don’t believe a word the false world players say.
Battling the leaders of the false world is a worthless waste of time. Battles never end in the false world; they just change players and circumstances. Look at Israel, the false world capital. They sustain their efforts with the hope of winning. However, as we let go of our beliefs, the false world disappears, and the true world emerges without effort. The game players of the illusion all look stupid and cartoonish, like Super Mario.
But we have been so convinced that the false world is real that most people don’t challenge it. They accept reality as the truth. They believe that god creates problems when it is our own false minds (filled with beliefs we borrowed from players) that created all of our problems and suffering. When we let go of our beliefs, people with false power fall off their pedestal naturally. Letting go never hurt anyone or anything. Everyone wins in the true world. And you don’t lose anyone if you quit playing their game. You can always be a fan and watch from the sidelines.
For years, I studied esoteric wisdom trying to learn how to consistently follow my heart and eliminate the backlash of problems. As I learned what was possible with a free mind, I wanted it; and I raised my standards and expectations for myself even higher. As I raised my standards, more beliefs came out of the closet.
My false self fought for dear life because it wanted to stay in the game. It was sure I had the power to win. When I let go of my desire to win, it tried to convince me that I was virtuous for losing. It said I needed to stay in the illusion and help others. It said I didn’t deserve to be free. It said that I’d lose everything or die if I stopped playing the game. I could go on and on.
I often felt very confused. I’d find level clarity and then I would fall into level confusion again. But each time I let go, the clarity of the level of the tree of life would last a bit longer. I didn’t realize that this is how the path out of hell looks. We have moments of clarity and then the false self’s confusion rears its ugly head. If we believe it, we get stuck. And since if don’t care to compete and win in the false world, we end up losing. If we let it go of our beliefs, love them, or ignore them, we gain a little more freedom. Our mind isn’t clear until it is clear. It takes as long as it takes. The illusion only appears so real because of the thousands of years of complex webs of beliefs that have been energized with emotions.
Just like the ancient initiates, we have to observe and correct our minds while ignoring outer circumstances. That is hard to do in the course of normal living. It is difficult to ignore the wars, suffering, and politics. But, we have to remember that it is all part of a giant illusion. If we pay attention to the players of the illusory game, we are believing them. If we try to fix them, we are believing them. If we try to help them when they screw up or sympathize with them when they whine, we are believing them.
Our false self has all the exits firmly locked. It has even tricked us into holding ourselves in the illusion for the sake of helping others get out. What I’ve learned is that if someone is drowning, it is easier to save him or her by tossing them a floatation device from the shore. If you go in with them, they just might pull you down. I’m pretty comfortable with letting people drown. I’ve let go of enough beliefs to know you can’t drown in the illusion because it is an illusion. I’d much rather just toss them the key and let them open the damn door themselves. So here’s the key — catch!
One day, I just started letting go of every belief I could find; I trusted that I could not let go of the truth. At that point I thought I was taking a risk; I didn’t know if I could let my true Self go. I didn’t know if I would die. But I decided that I didn’t want to live in the illusion; death or freedom were both acceptable alternatives to the false world.
I watched my mind for hours each day; and I was shocked at the beliefs that arose in my awareness. It was as if I was witnessing the lies of the ages. I was, and they were all in my mind. I didn’t identify with many of those lies, but I had them in my mind. They were all the rules of the game. They were the fine print that I didn’t read when I bought the earth game. I couldn’t blame the false world on anyone but myself because even if I didn’t play it, I still held it in my mind.
At some point, I reached a new level of clarity. And I now understood why my partner and I argued about so many things, like responsibility. So I said to my partner. “If I could cut open your mind would I like what I saw? Would I know that you loved me unconditionally?” He gave me the only answer he could. “Don’t I pay the bills? Don’t I show up at work everyday?” He was still responsible to his beliefs, making his authority figures proud. He was still incongruent. He was in the false world, where you hide your thoughts and feelings and assess your worth based on what you do. I no longer judged it, but I knew I didn’t want to live in it.
I simply wasn’t interested in the illusory game. But I also no longer saw it as wrong. Just like I can sit in the same room as two people playing chess and not be offended by their gaming, I can sit in the world and allow people to play their crazy games and not be affected. But to get to that point, I’ve got more letting go to do. I still sometimes feel unsafe or powerless when I believe they are good or superior.
I realized that for the first time since I was a child, I really, truly wished that people could cut open my mind and read it like a book; I desperately wanted others to know my thoughts about them. I wanted them to know how much I loved them. In that moment, I knew that I was finally breaking free of level confusion; my discrimination was returning, and I could now see a much wider path for the rest of the journey home.
Cathy Eck is the founder of Gateway To Gold. She has studied the ancient mystery school teachings for decades. She is passionate about cracking the code of life’s greatest mysteries and translating esoteric wisdom in a practical, simple, and empowering way. Cathy mentors anyone who wants to learn to discriminate between true and false and find his or her own way back home.