Originally published on April 12, 2007
Angela V. Michaels is a writer and eso-researcher who focuses on spirituality and becoming more spiritually aware. By centering her philosophies on Lao Tzu’s ancient Tao Te Ching, her work draws from an established Eastern tradition. Her book, Surfing the Tao, A Revolution of Free Will is a combination of practical spirituality and historical research.
I was prompted to contact Angela after reading her article entitled, “2012 Hype?” She addresses a number of subjects surrounding the 2012 phenomenon including the explosion of activity encompassing it and touches on the history of eschatalogical predictions. In order to get a bit more in depth from someone who has spent a lot of time focusing on just these types of issues, I asked Angela to join in a brief Q & A about 2012.
Your book, “Surfing the Tao – A Revolution of Free Will“, addresses a very wide range of spiritual issues as well as systems of control that affect us all. Did you find this to be a natural combination? Why do you think that these two areas of study seem to be so closely connected?
For me they are a natural combination. I had a transformative spiritual experience about eight years ago that kind of woke me up to several concepts that intertwined the two. First I realized that spiritual truths are within us, and cannot be found in any one outer system of belief. After quite a bit of research, I found many threads of truth woven throughout many religions and spiritual paths. However according to what I felt in my own spirit, none of them, especially in their modern states, has got it 100% right.
In the course of my research I also kept tripping over evidence of a powerful cabal which seemed to be connected to certain spiritual paths and secrets. I began to suspect that those who really control our world (the political and corporate elite) not only profited from the chaos and wars that ensued from spiritual confusion, but perhaps were even keeping some real spiritual knowledge secret from the masses. I feel there is so much we aren’t being told, about underground technologies, alchemy, even our own history and origins, which is connected to awareness of our spiritual natures. It’s very Machiavellian – if we knew the truth we’d be a lot harder to control.
That is why in my book I stress awareness of spirit, but also awareness of outer manipulation. It’s a delicate balance between the two but vitally important to our future.
“The Master observes the world, but trusts his inner vision.” – Lao Tzu
The 2012 concept seems to also encompass many disparate interpretations. It goes from total annihilation to the flowering of a new consciousness that takes us into a golden age and all points in between. Rather than ask you to predict what will occur, a better question might be – if 2012 is a reality in that a predicted change occurs, doesn’t it also point to the idea of fate or predestination for the Earth? If so, would this not indicate that we are also subject to these forces that might be beyond our full comprehension?
You’re saying, if something does happen, does it prove that prophecy is real in the sense that events can be foretold, and we can’t change our destiny?
Predestination is a heavy subject and I can’t claim to have a definite answer on that one, partly because I believe the truth of it is sort of in between and we don’t have the language to comprehend it all. We have some input but I do believe there are forces beyond (most of) our comprehension.
It comes down to free will, which is also a complicated and debatable subject, related to the concept of predestination. I do believe we have free will in a sense – we can make choices but it could be an illusion; if we aren’t aware of all of our options, can we truly say we have free will? And are we sure what it is we’re choosing? Much of my book is about encouraging a higher awareness so that an informed choice can be made.
A lot is being said these days about The Secret and the Law of Attraction, and certainly I believe there is power in this to a certain extent. We do indeed contribute to the creation of our world. However, and maybe it’s the Taoist in me, but after much trial and error I’ve found that if the Universe, the Tao, has another plan for you there’s not much you can do about it except learn to go with the flow – Surf the Tao, so to speak. My own experience of synchronicity has taught me awareness of a kind of interconnected web of existence that we cannot fully comprehend; some events do seem to be firmly fixed within this multi-dimensional framework, though it is also fluid and can respond to us.
Learn to still the mind, and listen to the great Voice of spirit within. It’s more like being co-creators; if we can tune into this higher power and its will, its Great Path, our powers of creation become infused with a shockwave of energy. That’s the idea behind a “Revolution of Free Will”. If we choose love, with our “free will”, we are choosing to align ourselves with God, the Tao, the Force; that living, pulsating Source of energy that binds the universe. Sounds simple and yet can be extraordinarily difficult. All our greatest sages taught this one way or another. If we actually did, we would have the power of the Universe behind us, and would be off and running towards love, peace and harmony in our lives, and eventually in our world. Then it wouldn’t matter what happens in 2012 or any other time – we’d be spiritually prepared for anything. Love is the key, and it’s not beyond our comprehension.
“It is a lot like surfing… you catch a wave by being prepared, timing your move and having your board in position. Like surfing, you have some control, but the Flow has all the power.” – unknown
You’ve mentioned that since publishing your book, you’ve tried to write another, but the same material keeps manifesting. Is that still true today? Can you describe how “surfing the Tao” affects your writing in the sense that there might be more to it than sitting down to type and generating text?
As far as writing another book right now, yes, it’s still true. What I write and blog about these days is basically an epilogue to that book. I feel there is a mission behind it and I feel driven to continue working. There is definitely some kind of force which continues to urge me along. Believe me, I was just as surprised as anyone else that I wrote that book – the act of writing it was an intense and moving experience, as if there were a Voice whispering in my ear. I was a woman obsessed until it was done, and though it probably could be updated, the basic concept remains the same. Since then I continue to improve my own ability to “Surf the Tao” – learning to walk the Walk, and live in love. It’s important to me to share this journey with as many people as I can.
“The Art of Peace allows us to perceive and tap into that tremendous reserve of universal energy.” – Ueshiba, “The Art of Peace”
Along with 2012, many talk of a great awakening. Do you see any evidence that this is taking place?
I would say, yes. I’m not the only one waking up to the importance of love. There are some days I have to wonder, with all the serious problems we face in our world right now – certainly many more people are not, because it’s difficult to unravel oneself from the matrix. But I do believe there is a growing undercurrent of awakening spirits, people who know things aren’t right, sense there is more to it, and are going out – or within themselves – to find it. I’ve talked to many people going through that in the past few years. There seems to be a flurry of alternative spiritual teachings and speculation, and people are debating such issues all over the Internet. This is an important first step towards awakening. I can’t say there will be some massive, sudden transformation in 2012 – but there are enough synchronicities to make us sit up and pay attention. At the very least I am satisfied that the subject has re-entered our field of consciousness – even scientists are taking a new look at the similarities between quantum physics and ancient spiritual teachings, for example.
Jon Rappoport wrote in The Secret Behind Secret Societies, “…what has been called, through the ages, enlightenment, salvation, ascension, cosmic consciousness, self-realization, bliss, unconditional love, universal compassion are all attempts to describe what happens when the imagination becomes prime and goes far beyond the present barriers we assume are its boundaries.” (p. 360)
As many positive social and political movements have been subverted or co-opted in the past, do you believe that any mass movement for change can succeed if it is not supported by the powers that be?
That is the $65,000 question, isn’t it? In a political or social sense, no, I don’t think a revolution would succeed. It would have to be a spiritual rebellion – something that takes place within a higher mode of being. The only way to fight the powers-that-be is with love, and that puts it, again, ultimately in the hands of the Higher Power. A revolution of this magnitude cannot survive if it is fought with violence, anger, fear and aggression – then we will have become like the enemy. Personally I’m calling for a revolution of our free will, encouraging people to look beyond their physical desires, beyond the matrix, towards the truth about love and our eternal spirits.< This in fact I do believe to be entirely within our grasp. The real battlefield is in our minds and spirits.
“Accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.” – Tao Te Ching #63
Is this part of why change from the inside is so crucial?
I am wary of change from the inside of a corrupt system – how could we be sure it’s not just a ruse? Such is the modus operandi of the so-called powers-that-be. They like to make us think we have a choice; perhaps in the future they will even sacrifice their own organizations in order to bring us some global peace as a false security, while they continue to wreak havoc behind the scenes. The truth is unstructured and ‘un-systemed’ – completely outside of what we presently conceive of as our options.
A better route would be change from within ourselves. We can’t change what other people do, or even what happens to us; we can only control how we react. Reacting with love in the face of anger or fear; this is our greatest weapon and the most crucial of all our dilemmas. If we can learn this as a species then we have won. It would drastically change the world. The best system is really no system – not anarchy, but tuned into the Tao, as Lao Tzu suggests, the world will govern itself. This is the only change that will truly matter, and in so doing we could indeed raise our consciousness and bring the world into balance – in fact that may be necessary in order to implement such a world. And that may be why the powers-that-be don’t want us to learn about our true potential as spiritual beings – we might just fade away into the next level, beyond their control.
“Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.” – Tao Te Ching #60
Like myself, the Tao Te Ching has obviously had a great impact on you. Can you please describe why and how it is so important to you, and everyone?
There is just so much wisdom packed into those 81 verses. It’s one of the first spiritual books I read after my transformative experience and it resonated with me right away. Other sources such as the Upanishads, Buddha’s Dhammapada, The Art of Peace and the words of Jesus also resonate with me, on the same frequency. I sense a common thread weaves through all of them – and yet I always come back to Lao Tzu. The Tao Te Ching has become almost like an oracle for me, I can open it to a random page and get what I need for the day. It’s beyond religion – for me, Taoism is more a philosophy or Way of Life.
The Tao Te Ching is a great first step for anyone looking for spiritual knowledge. It makes you stop and think about things in a completely different Way than we are taught today in our speeded-up, ambitious, greedy and self-seeking world. We can all use a little wisdom from the ancients.
“The Tao is always at ease. It overcomes without competing, answers without speaking a word, arrives without being summoned, accomplishes without a plan.” –Tao Te Ching, #73
What advice would you give if asked for guidance in avoiding the pitfalls of charlatans trying to cash in on the 2012 hype?
We must learn to cultivate discernment. First we need to become educated and aware of the possibilities. Earth changes, new technologies, alternative history, the powers-that-be and their secrets, even worldly spiritual paths – knowledge is power. Do a lot of research, try to understand many different points of view so that there is no shock or surprise either way.
After that we must learn to tune in to the wisdom within ourselves. Do we really know what love is, and how to choose it over our pre-programmed, knee-jerk reactions like anger or fear? Will we have the ears to hear truth, or know when the wool is being pulled over our eyes? Whether we pray, meditate, chant, do tai chi, play music or just stop and smell the roses – this kind of inner investigation is crucial. It molds and sculpts our natural, raw gut instinct into a more refined and accessible skill. Combined with outer knowledge, spiritual awareness brings us the gift of discernment. Find that great swell of universal energy, grab your spiritual surfboards and hop on for a ride. Without it we’re certainly in danger of being fooled.
“Watch that no one deceives you.” – Matthew 24:4