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Merry Christmas!

Michael Channeling by
David Gregg

Opening Comments

<DaveGregg> We open this session by offering our love and blessings to all who read this seasonal message today.

The holiday season can be a time of stress for many, but it also is a time when people are more willing to open their hearts. Take advantage of this windfall. If the motivations are pure, an open heart can mend decades of old wounds in a matter of days . Reach out to those caught-up in the euphoria of the season and dismantle those barriers that have kept you apart.

You can also use this openness as a model to guide your own emotional well-being throughout the rest of the year. The benefits, of course, are limitless: an open heart is able to receive without judgment; an open heart does not feel the need to protect the ego or false personality; an open heart is a measure of your ability to receive the love of those close to you as well as those kept at a distance; an open heart is your deed to a life containing more joy and fulfillment, and we could easily continue here with even more examples.

A closed heart, on the other hand, leaves you at the mercy of false personality and the distorted fears that accompany that. Anger and frustration is the inevitable result, and after awhile it can feel like you're on a sinking ship without a life raft. Striving towards the more positive feeling is often enough to keep you on track.

For those of you still feeling challenged by a year of innumerable frustrations, we offer the following:

The symbols of Christmas are, of course, rich with traditions from many cultures, but the symbol we'd like to address today is a custom that, while it often leads to a surfeit of commercialism, has graced the lives of everyone who ever shared their love with another-- and that is the exchange of gifts.

When you wrap a gift for another you are not only concealing the surprise from them, but encoding the gift with a symbol of your affection. On this day when you are often giving to others, we ask that you share some of that affection with yourself.

Secure a quiet location and meditate for a moment. When you're free of distractions, review the progression of your life over the past year. Pay careful attention to any obstacles or problems that either challenged or upset you.

Now imagine that these challenges must be placed in a box and wrapped with the same level of affection you'd give if the present were intended for a loved one. When you're finished wrapping, place the gifts under an imaginary tree for yourself. Go forward in time a little and imagine waking up Christmas morning. As you unwrap each package, give thanks for the gift and appreciate what it has taught you about yourself. Do not take this step lightly. It is only after you have acknowledged the gift -- and the things it has illuminated in your life -- that you will be able to release its negative charge and let it go.

By the time you finish this exercise you should feel less embittered by the frustrations and setbacks of the past year, and more empowered by all that life brings. We are not saying that bad things won't happen in your life, but you can choose how to perceive them. While it's true that choice may seem limited at times, you still have the power to choose how you feel, and this is where choice can truly be empowering.

Christmas then teaches that in each day a new gift is waiting to be unwrapped. If you can learn to accept that gift with dignity and grace, you will better appreciate what life continues to teach you -- for life is indeed the most precious gift you will ever receive.

Q & A


<Gloria> What is an evolved soul?
<DaveGregg> You are all evolved souls in the sense that you are continually evolving. We are not aware of a specific stage at which to designate a soul as evolved, since the evolution of the soul follows a process that's uniquely different for each fragment. We will say, however, that appearances may be deceiving. There are those that society views with disdain who are more evolved in a spiritual sense than individuals you often refer to as  "model citizens." False personality can, of course, obscure the true nature of souls that are otherwise highly evolved, since things are rarely what they seem in these matters.
If pressed to specifically address this question, we would add that an evolved soul is one who has amassed a considerable amount of life experience and who uses that experience in ways that reflect the humility of the journey. Evolved souls rarely seek the tangential experience, preferring more to focus on what is directly in front of them. The question of the forked road then is rarely a dilemma for the evolved soul, since they instinctively know where they are going.

<CynthiaB> I know there's true work, true study, true play, true rest, etc. But
is there a true teacher?
<DaveGregg> Note: I channeled a question about true teachers awhile back and will include it here since it has already been done.

<DaveGregg> We do not wish to minimize the intent behind this question, but every person you meet is a true teacher. There isn't a soul on the planet who doesn't have something to teach you. The very nature of existence provides a multitude of experiences, and no matter how mundane or trivial, the opportunity to learn always exists. Nothing is ever wasted. You are literally learning every second you exist; it cannot be avoided. In this regard, LIFE is the truest teacher.

Concerning other people, every interaction you have with another fragment is a chance to learn about the intricacies of the human condition and what it's like to experience life on the physical plane. True teachers come in surprising guises: the Mother-in-law who made your life a living hell; the spouse that disrupted your marriage with a painful affair; the girl next door who gave you your first kiss; the panhandler that asked for money, these are all true teachers and they have taught you well. The real purpose behind their intent is immaterial. Essence doesn't judge the lessons it extracts from life, it simply learns from them.

There are, of course, people that specialize in teaching. There are vast curriculums at your disposal that explore the academics with carefully defined prerequisites for potential instructors, and criteria like this can either be helpful or a process of false personality. We are mainly concerned in this discussion with the larger perspective. From our vista we see every life form on earth as a true teacher -- from the smallest microbe to the tallest tree.

<Gloria> The term "life contract" is used in some spiritual circles to denote that there is a life plan that the soul has determined on prior to incarnating.  I have the impression that there is a school of thought that believes that everything that happens to a person is completely reflective of the pre-incarnational contract. 
Is the term "contract" appropriate to describe the soul's plans for the life, and do we in fact make contracts in addition to the life task/other agendas?  Or is a contract the same thing as life task? 
<DaveGregg> The term "life contract" is mostly interchangeable, as we see it, with the life plan. The life task more specifically addresses a particular objective, whereas the life plan involves agreements you have made with others, your overleaves, karma, and so forth.

An agreement with another could certainly be viewed as a contract, but these contracts are subject to forfeiture at any time. While it is true that a skeletal-like structure helps to outline the malleable epidermis of the life plan, nothing is set in stone.

The passage of life is not a train that only follows tracks to a single destination. Freedom of choice is still the agent that fuels its engine, and with so many choices to choose from, the amount of outcomes would be impossible to tabulate pre-incarnationally.

In the case of Christopher Reeves, the drama that unfolded in his life was partly due to a pre-incarnational agenda, but also the result of a series of random choices that led to unexpected results. This is the beauty of life for some. To borrow an old saying: "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry,"  but that's all part of the fun for many people.

<Thomas> How much influence does the soul have over the genetic inheritance of a physical lineage? To what extent is the soul able to manipulate physical variables to create a body and appearance that is more suitable to the life task and overall agenda than if genetic influences were left to themselves? (How independent is essence of genes?) 

<DaveGregg> Like the way a lounge chair begins to show the outline of the person who frequently uses it, the soul expresses itself through the body in a similar fashion. Thus, the physical expression of the soul can indeed be discerned on occasion, especially around the eyes. The old saying: "The eyes are the window of the soul," is applicable here.

We would not say this outward expression is the result of genetic manipulation, but more along the lines of the body stretching itself to accommodate the soul -- think of a tight-fitting glove that gradually remolds to the shape of the fingers.

<Jen> I have recently heard the term "clusters" used to describe a series of 5 or 6 incarnations wherein a fragment deliberately selects an emphasis for those lives.  For example, a fragment may decide on a cluster of incarnations in which it is going to work on musical skills - performing an instrument or becoming a highly polished singer.  Or use a series of lifetimes to learn martial arts skills or becoming an expert in a certain specialized body of knowledge.  Etc.
Is this concept of "clusters" accurate?  If so, are these clusters of lifetimes done consecutively, or does essence take time out to begin new clusters and then come back to continue a former cluster?  And are there lives which are not attached to any cluster format, but are more free-wheeling? 

<DaveGregg> Themed incarnations are not uncommon, but clusters usually focus on specific lessons or a series of lifetimes in a particular culture. Occupational pursuits are really just subsets in a theme, but essence is certainly free to pursue a variety of interests, such as a couple lifetimes as a musician. Exploring the defining moments in a different culture, however, is more important to essence than becoming a polished singer, but if valuable lessons can be culled from the experience, essence will show greater interest.

Themes may be grouped together, but depending on the needs of essence, they can also be broken into smaller segments and taken out of order. New incarnations that resonate with a particular theme can access those previous lifetimes, especially if there are unfinished lessons to complete.

<Francis> I've recently read several websites that claim AIDS is not the disease its purported to be and that HIV doesn't cause AIDS. It's been further stated that testing is useless, people in Africa aren't dying from AIDS, and those supposedly dying worldwide from it are simply dying from common, everyday diseases.

Is any of the above true? If so, why would science claim otherwise? Is it the drug companies hoping to make big profits? Is it a government conspiracy?

<DaveGregg> It is not a conspiracy.

First, however, we would like to address one of the underlying reasons behind this pandemic. There have, of course, been many personal motives sought by fragments when manifesting this disease, but we will primarily examine those objectives sought on a mass level.

Although the price is great for many, some soul groups use AIDS as a vehicle to focus more attention on the often ignored and indigent segments of society. The devastating poverty that plagues Africa, for example, requires an antidote, and while the remedy may seem counterproductive, the enormous attention to AIDS has both attracted the media and galvanized activists to beat the drums of change.

It is true that lessons of survival are being explored in these third-world regions, but the magnitude of poverty and suffering has gone beyond the level of conditions many souls feel is tolerable, and the experiences are no longer considered productive.

The gay community, of course, has long suffered the indignities of both this disease and the contemptuous views from society, but in this case -- where at first the AIDS spotlight resulted in a backlash against gay lifestyles -- the attention is now being redirected at those who have long been blinded by ignorance, and society is learning greater levels of tolerance as a result.  We are not saying that gay men have literally jumped at the chance to die for this greater cause, but when opportunities presented themselves, the disease has certainly been used as a crucible to foster greater awareness towards the plights of others.

In regards to your initial question, AIDS is a systemic condition that opens the floodgates to a variety of diseases, all dependent upon the locale of the individual and the level of damage to the immune system. While AIDS may seem non-specific in nature, its insidious presence is very real. Over time it decimates the immune system of the body, leaving it unable to guard against attack from opportunistic infections and diseases that otherwise wouldn't affect individuals with healthy immune systems.

It is true that pharmaceutical companies have leveraged themselves into positions of huge profit from this disease, but they are merely taking advantage of an existing opportunity.  The many claims that dispute the existence of AIDS mostly fall into realms of pseudoscience and various states of denial. What you choose to believe, however, is ultimately a matter of your own personal validation.

<Robert> Why do some people seem to manifest their desires effortlessly, and other folks have limited success with this? (Assume that all participants in reality creation are sincere and working at keeping their focus and positive attitudes.)
<DaveGregg> The law of attraction is not a mere parlor trick that can be implemented with the flick of a wand. Your primary centers must be properly balanced in order to focus your desires with the intensity needed to manifest something. If your energy isn't flowing freely in this regard, you may indeed experience the limited success you spoke of.

Working from the assumption that you have already studied the basics of this subject, we offer a couple suggestions based on the body of our own knowledge.

First, we suggest imagining that the primary centers represent the sides of a pyramid. Without the equal support of just one side, the entire structure will collapse. The key then is to identify your least used or weakest center. In other words, if you're intellectually centered with the moving part, the emotional center is the missing link you seek. Conversely, if you're intellectually centered with the emotional part, then the moving center is your Rosetta stone, so to speak, and taking action is the missing component. In short, identifying the center you inhabit less is the tool you'll need to manifest the things you desire. If it's the intellectual center, for example, you'll need to place greater importance on the thoughts you use when creating your reality; if it's the emotional center, you'll need to feel your desires with more intensity; and if it's the moving center, taking action is what you'll need to bolster the credibility of your new beliefs.
The simple act of "wanting" something badly enough is another area we'd like to address. Many fragments are unclear about what they want, or don't know with any certainty if they truly want what they're wishing for. We think a bit of soul searching is required here. One trick is to gauge how you feel about the chosen desire: does the desire make you feel good or bad? Feeling good is an obvious indicator of being aligned with your goal. A feeling of neutrality, however, often indicates that the desire may lack the necessary follow through. Ruthless honesty with yourself is the only way to determine if what you want to manifest in your life serves the needs of both self and essence. Essence is indeed a factor in these matters, and in many cases the final arbiter.

<Gloria> Michael has said that by the time we reach 7th old we will be so happy and involved in being alive in the physical plane that we love being here - and then we cycle off. How did this notion develop? What is really meant by "loving it here?"  Does that apply regardless of the life circumstances?  I.E., can we distinguish between a certain love of the beauty of the physical plane and life itself, vs. the exigencies, difficulties, and generally abrasive experiences some late old fragments have. 

<DaveGregg> You are referring to an oft generalized comment.

When you can love life without the burden of negative attachments or expectations, you have found the equilibrium and there is nothing left to do but flow with the current.  In other words, loving life means you have finally accepted it in all of its multifarious guises and costumes -- the show is over, so to speak, and you are no longer the playwright arguing with the director about the changes he made to your script.

To further illustrate, we do not mean that fragments will become so enraptured with life that they'll love wasting away with a disease. Instead,
a state of acceptance develops where the fragment no longer clings to attachments of misfortune and hardship, and finds a way to love the variegated scenery that life brings -- regardless of the view.

It should come as no surprise that hardships in life are a fundamental part of the physical plane, and while considerable effort may be put forth to alleviate occasional harshness, few fragments ever escape without some cuts and bruises.

Learning to love life in spite of these pitfalls is not about hiding from the struggles, but about facing the adversity without fear. It's a choice if you choose to scream about everything that's wrong with your life, as much as it's a choice if you choose to dwell on those areas that do bring you happiness. We know of fragments who appeared to achieve everything they ever wanted, yet continually allowed any feelings of joy to slip through their grasp. Conversely, we have seen fragments who led lives of terrible poverty find joy in the simplest of pleasures, such as feeding feral cats, or reveling in the warmth of the sun on their back as they picked through garbage. Joy is truly relative.

Loving life does not mean excluding what you perceive as bad, but fearlessly including what you encounter as part of the all-encompassing arc of your existence. In other words, loving life is about finding joy in the struggle. Have you not noticed how vibrant life can feel after a period of pain has passed? It's like a Spring shower that washes away the debris from Winter. There are similar cycles of cleansing in every incarnation: learn to accept them and embrace the feelings of renewal that follows.

Closing Comments 

<DaveGregg> The channel wanted us to end this session with an illustrative little tale, so we shall oblige. This is not a Christmas story, per se, but we think it reflects the spirit of the season.

During one of our incarnations -- never mind when precisely -- there was a little girl from the far side of our village that carried water each day to her aging parents.  She walked to the river every morning and several hours later could be seen trudging up the hill to her distant cottage, balancing two pails of water connected by a leather strap that hung around her neck. The weight of the water was often more than her frail body could handle, but she braved the burden with a determination that made everyone in her village proud of her devotion.

One blustery morning  when splinters of dust felt like broken glass, the little girl fell into the river and drowned. Her body was never recovered and all that the villagers found were two pails of water resting on the bank.

To honor her memory, the villagers volunteered each day to continue in her place, and when it was our turn to carry the water for the little girl we eagerly scaled the hilltop to her cottage. We were surprised, however, to find the place in disrepair. At that moment we knew the other villagers had guarded the secret: her parents had been dead for many months and the little girl had only been watering the flowers around their graves.

Just as she had done, we lovingly splashed the thirsty perennials with water. But there was something strange about the flowers. The blooms grew larger each time we doused them, and like memories they became stronger when nurtured.

It was at that moment that we understood the little girl's perseverance: she knew that her love for her parents could never die as long as their memory still bloomed in her heart. 

Now we do not suggest emulating the overzealous preoccupations of the little girl,  but at this time of year when the air grows cold and life succumbs to the shadows of winter, it can be comforting to reflect on the connections you have with those still with you, as well as those from the past  -- for the flower of the soul blooms forever. 

We will now conclude this session. Merry Christmas to you and yours.  

<DaveGregg> Dave: Happy holidays to the Michael teachings community!
May the joys of the season be with you always.   

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