Inner Michael » It’s Not the Man, it’s the Message

It’s Not the Man, it’s the Message

It’s not the package, nor the wrapping; it’s the gift inside.
“The path of the spiritual warrior is not soft and sweet. It is not artificially blissful and pretend forgiving. It is not fearful of divisiveness. It is not afraid of its own shadow. It is not afraid of losing popularity when it speaks its truth. It will not beat around the bush where directness is essential. It has no regard for vested interests that cause suffering. It is benevolent and it is firey and it is cuttingly honest in its efforts to liberate itself and humanity from the egoic ties that bind. Shunning strong opinions in the name of spirituality is anti-spiritual. Spirituality that is only floaty soft is a recipe for disaster, allowing all manner of manipulation to run amok. Real spirituality is a quest for truth, in all its forms. Sometimes we find the truth on the meditation cushion, and sometimes we find it in the heart of conflict. May all spiritual warriors rise into fullness. This planet is lost without them.” ~Jeff Brown, Author, Filmmaker

And the true spiritual warrior is also wise.

A warrior myself, I dare to share some insights:

I have a request. Remember the bigger picture. Remember you don’t see all of it at any given time, but trust that there is one and imagine that in the bigger picture is the greater good of all even if it may not seem so at the time. Our world is broken. Keep that in mind. At. All. Times.

Raw emotion is a powerful thing. Emotion is an engine of the human being that often drives the vehicle by appealing to another part of the mind. Not the intellect. Not the instinct. Not the reasoning. Emotion can bypass all that and go right to the gut causing a person to do or say something that isn’t reasoned or properly thought out. In the grip of emotion, people can say and do things that do damage and that they may later regret.

Those things said in haste and through emotion are just not rational. Acting instantly and from the rawness of an emotion can hurt people and cause real harm in the world. To be in the grip of emotion is a very tight space to be in. There’s not a lot of room in there because one is being squeezed in and suffocated by the emotion. There is nothing expansive about that. And when being squeezed and pressed upon by the emotion itself, there is a tight focus on self– “I,” “me,” “mine” and not “we.” It’s not a very generous place to be. It doesn’t allow for other peoples’ humanity– only mine. And since I am the human one and “they” are not– it is also a lonely place.

Instead of being guided by the more mature, expansive and generous part of the self, a person in this state is acting out while in the clutches of the ego. The ego wants to be in charge and the ego likes to be “right.” In fact, it likes to be “righteous.” And it clings to this righteousness and uses it as a weapon. There is nothing spiritual about the ego in the grip of raw emotion expressing as righteousness and selfishness. There is nothing generous about it. In fact, it is very short sighted, demanding and bratty.

Try this picture: Your life is like a bus with a driver’s seat. Who do you want at the wheel? Especially with life at stake? A brat or an adult? A child crippled by emotion or a reasoned and mature psyche? Who do you want driving your bus– a rational individual or do you want it careening all over the place at the hands of a brat in the midst of a perpetual tantrum? So who do you want driving your life– the brat or the bigger self?

The brat is not only short sighted, but it likes to throw things around and tears things down– sometimes things like friendships and reputations and mature wisdom. Wisdom comes from study, restraint, discernment, experience and reflection.
Perspective is like that. When emotion takes over, the perspective narrows. We can see only what’s immediately in front of us. My turf. My opinion. My anger. My disgust. My… my… my… me… me… me. The epitome of arrogance is to think your opinion is the only one that matters. And that it’s the right one. (Yes, we all do that. But we can practice restraint in these matters. We can wait, observe, reason, reflect and then act.)

Unfortunately while in that place of limitation and tightness and smallness, there is only the little picture of the little individual ego that is seen. But there is a bigger picture. There is always a bigger picture because there is a bigger plan. Things happen that serve that bigger plan which is the evolution of humankind.

Our job is to transform from mini me to magnificent me. Magnificence is born of generosity, kindness, compassion, inclusiveness and recognizing the interconnectedness of humanity and respect for all sentient life.

Magnificence is a choice to acknowledge the shadow of humans and their nature, to integrate the shadow of self and in the world, and then choose to express the brilliance of the human animal, not the shadow.
Every once in awhile the Michael Jackson community has a dust-up. Something occurs that stirs things up and even when it’s accidental, it is always perceived as somebody deliberately stuck something into a beehive. And the stinging begins. The swarm occurs, organizes and stings the first thing in sight. Then the next thing. And damage occurs.

The thing about a dust-up is that eventually the dust has to settle. A dust-up or “quarrel” at some point looses its energy and when it’s over, there is always debris. The landscape, once smoother, now looks jagged and marred. That is what happens when someone takes an immediate stance and a narrow view– the landscape becomes barren and damaged.

The narrow view of things will always cause one to become blind to the bigger picture.

A great deal of care went into the production of “Xcape.” A lot more care than before. Those in the studio who worked on the project were aware of whom they were representing. A few of them said they could feel Michael Jackson’s presence as they worked. All of them sought to step into his shoes although they know they’re impossible to fill, and imagine the steps he would take. All tried to imagine his mind. And from working with him for in some cases, decades, some of them might predict his reactions and sometimes delight. They knew him that well. The DVD that accompanied “Xcape” was not a “sales job.” It was a heart-felt collaboration that was a declaration of love for someone they knew personally and well.

What was sad is that his family’s absence was obvious. Whatever the reasons, whatever the divisions, whatever the angst and resentment, it would have been so much more lovely if his family was included. They were his kin. He was their brother, son, father. What a shame that things are not different. That is why it is important for humans to learn to get past their egos, to forgive, and to repair damage. It’s better if that can happen in life because its excruciating in death to confront what was done or not done, said or not said, and what was not loved or loved enough. Pride and ego, allowed to be in charge, is like letting the little self drive the bus.

The promised “hologram,” although a rumor and never confirmed, was a disappointment to many fans because it was an imposter. The truth is that after June 25, 2009, everyone will always be an imposter. Someday the technology may exist to create something more sophisticated, but that day is not here yet. And if things are delayed until then, meanwhile, the messenger is forgotten. And the messenger had a message. Do you even remember what that message was?

The audience and the world saw it much differently. They were poignantly reminded of the messenger and therefore, the message. And they are reminded of the why of it. They are reminded of his attempts to bring a message whose time had not yet arrived. They are reminded of his relentless trying and his unshakable faith in humanity even after being so defiled and so humiliated and even unto the very end. They were reminded of a talent that will never be seen again. And trust me, there is regret and sadness because along with all that remembrance comes the acknowledgment that the messenger was brutally and horribly misunderstood and mistreated. And that’s a good reminder for the world. It’s intended to soften hearts. Humanity could use softer hearts, don’t you think?

The reality is that the world was reminded, Michael was remembered, his music once again topped the charts, a new generation was introduced once again to his music (and therefore, his message.) The message is more important than the man. Even Michael knew that. He said it enough times. Did you hear it?

The message is in the music. Quite possibly, many will begin with Xcape and then work their way back to his other work, the work that has the meat of the message. It seems that yes, the world does have a role for him. And perhaps it’s not over. Maybe there is a role beyond the world. And maybe “This Is It” (present tense.)

The bigger picture is that no matter who, what or how, Michael Jackson and his music and work and message is once again in front of the eyes and ears of the world. The healing message is once again resurrected. He is once again the king. And all of this completely overshadowed the attempt to dismember him once again. That indicates the power that is behind the message. There will always be those who try to tear him down– pathetic that they find that so acceptable even in death. That is the mark of the beast in remaining a mini me. And there will always be those who exploit. That is the very human nature he was trying to point out. And change.

Some say his music should remain hidden in the vault because he was such a perfectionist and would have released it if he had felt it was ready and had reached his standard of perfection. and since it wasn’t finished by Michael himself, it should remain hidden. I can empathize with that and I understand that sentiment.

But consider this: had Michael not been handed all the obstacles in his life: debilitating diseases that marred a face and ravaged a body– Vitiligo and Lupus; exploitation; betrayal of friends; corrupt managers; cynical hangers-on; malignant opportunists; frivolous lawsuits– about 50 per year; heartbreak of personal relationships; threats to take his children away; ridicule, bullying, mockery, media dismemberment in the public eye; tabloid inventions and outrageous claims; unthinkable accusations; others making great sums of money off your sorrow; a torturous trial with no evidence and no basis for the trumped-up charges; the skepticism that a system of justice was even going to work or grant you the same rights as every other individual in that same system; the specter of prison and being riddled with fear of the possibilities and concern for the fate of your children; losing the faith in your country, in fairness, in justice itself; the constant and intractable violence, pursuit, stalking and harm; the hysteria of lies and the hysteria of love; and while it was love, that love also made simple civil and human rights and passage through this world nearly impossible; the loss of love and a mate to walk beside you in a lasting relationship; the shattering of dreams; the loss of the only sanctuary where there could be safety, relaxation and unguarded moments; the loss of everything dear including– reputation, home, health, comfort, safety, trust (a simple expectation violated to the degree that testing everyone around became necessary;) repeated betrayal of that trust; being reduced to a commodity; being pursued by individuals, companies, and professionals, including doctors, only because of your monetary worth; being reduced to a non-person and objectified (with diminishing humanity and dignity); and even eventually being stripped of your creative will during the last project of your life; losing even the rejuvenating power of sleep; and eventually the inability to rest that finally took your life.

Perhaps without all that human shadow and “noise” in one’s life, one might actually be free to pursue one’s art and the real reason for fame and attention– a platform to deliver an important message. Maybe some of that music in the vault might have seen the light had humans behaved themselves with magnificence instead of as malignant mini me(s.) Jackson might have been free to gift the world with the fullness of his art. He might have lived longer to give that art with a bigger picture– in cinema.

So maybe we all need to remember the bigger picture before we swarm, before we sting. Maybe we all need to take a step back and also see the bigger picture, exercise restraint and take a look at the more expansive view. The man is not here any longer but the message lives on. And the man would himself tell you… it’s the message that’s important.

It’s been delivered. Again.
Xcape fan video:

It’s been almost five years of gifts and support to many who tell me they’ve benefitted . Inner Michael cannot pay for the server, security, domains, and other expenses without support. “Words and Violence” and its message cannot be distributed. Your help is greatly appreciated.


  1. anonymous said . . .

    Thank you for reminding us of Michael’s mission and his precious heart. Your insight into what happened all around the world,when Michael passed, touched me, because I am one of them. I didn’t meet Michael until God took him home, and word for word, you described exactly what happened to me.

    When I read about how those who worked with Michael and brought Xcape to fruition, could feel his presence, I totally understand that, because even though I don’t understand it, I feel Michael as well. It is hard for me to put it into words.I just know that there are moments when I am made very much aware of him, and he is Joy flowing over me.As I have researched his life, and discovered who he REALLY was, he has become very dear to me. So how is that possible when he is no longer here? Somedays it feels like he never left, and in someways is still here among us.

    How does he touch my heart like that? I am a Christian and I know that the mysteries of God are beyond what I can wrap my mind around sometimes, and who am I to say just what God allows in order to minster to our hearts? Could Michael possibly feel US? Could there still be a connection between our hearts? The intensity of his love just seems to get stronger with each day that goes by.

    Soon, the 5th anniversary of his death will be upon us, and Michael’s love continues to wake us up. Makes me think that we had better be paying attention to what he has to say. Thank you so much for your time. God bless you in your Ministry:)

    Posted June 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm | Permalink
  2. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    “Blame it on the Boogie.” At least that is the song that just now came on the radio as I sit in the café and try to formulate and answer to you. Some of you will understand that.

    Teachers come to Earth all the time and in many different forms and in all kinds of packages. I have written before about people developing special qualities. Siddhis are one example of someone who is very devoted and practices certain spiritual practices over time. Michael practiced gratitude constantly. Gratitude is a practice that will bring a quality of love and abundance. Michael also reached Samadhi when he danced. He was in ecstasy at times and in another world.

    I can tell you that being in the same room as the Dalai Lama is like being immersed in peace and love and another thing that can’t be described.

    Who knows how far away is the afterlife? We imagine it is way up there or far away and unreachable yet people hear from loved ones all the time. Those who have had near death experiences describe being in a place where there is love so palpable that it embraces you and wraps you in its otherworldly warmth. Some report leaving their bodies and floating above it with the ability to see everything from another dimension that is out of the body. Maybe it’s not so far away and is as thin as a veil. (It has been described in that way.)

    Some people just radiate love because it naturally flows through them. Michael Jackson appears to be one of those people who was able to love fiercely from a distance. He has embraced a crowd of 70,000 people and they felt it. He has said “I love you” and meant it. How was one man able to mesmerize and enchant millions while delivering a message of healing, care and unity? How could one man amass a crowd for “We are the World” and save half of starving Africa? How could one man give away an estimated $30 million to childrens’ charities, to build schools, restore orphanages, equip playgrounds and donate a major piece of medical equipment in the hospital of every city he visited?

    He had to have something special, don’t you think? And wouldn’t it take a special person cut from the same cloth to recognize it? Those special people need to remember why he was here and what he said in his lyrics. He had a message. It came in a package that people could love. I suspect he wants those special ones he touched to pay it forward. That would be my guess.

    Oh, and it seems it’s OK to Boogie while spreading the love.

    Posted June 4, 2014 at 2:21 am | Permalink
  3. Pam said . . .

    Michael’s unreleased music should not be exploited by the money makers, but I think that it will be a great tragedy if it is not released to the fans. Some of us are spiritually connected, and we get so much out of the music. We need to hear it. What good will it do locked away in the vaults? For the true fans, the music is priceless in any form. Even in an unfinished state, it’s still Michael.

    Posted June 4, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink
  4. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    I don’t think you can have it both ways, Pam. Those who purchased the music in the vault from the estate own the rights to the music and can do whatever they want with it. The estate (and thereby Michael) no longer owns it. If the “money makers” invest money, time and hire musicians, producers, studio time, and production costs, they have a right to make money on a product they produced. From all appearances, great care was taken producing this album. Is it Michael? Yes and no. It is vintage Michael and it is those who loved him holding his work delicately and with care and respecting him enough to pay homage in this unusual way, all the while keeping in mind who they are collaborating with and for. Some felt his presence. That hey showed up and invested time and energy on reviving him and his music speak volumes about Michael, his character, who he was. and the respect he earned from colleagues and peers.

    But there is a bigger issue here and that is what I am asking people to look at– Michael Jackson is now back in front of the public, his music climbed the charts in countries around the world, a new generation was introduced to his music and magic and most importantly– he has not been forgotten. There is great value in reminding the world of Michael Jackson again. It conjures other memories and remembrances– of how he was treated, for example. And why. And it’s more than possible that a bit more of his character was revealed in this album. And it is now public knowledge that people who loved and respected him cared enough to show up, examine and flesh out his art and intention. If nobody showed up and showed interest in Michael’s music that would be a much different message about how people felt about him.

    While I understand the sentiment of his unreleased music having a privacy issue, questions about his intention, I also understand the importance of keeping this artist in public view and memory and historically alive even if he can’t be here with us. It raises questions that should be raised. And I would imagine that to know his music is once again bringing joy, and he is appreciated, might delight him. And his beneficent and forgiving nature would overlook any “mistakes” and maybe even chuckle at the attempts if they fall short of his perfection in recreating him and his art. Or he might have loved it and been touched and felt honored by those who sought to bring his music alive once more.

    The bigger picture is that attempts were made in so many devious ways to nullify him during his lifetime and yet here he is– relevant once more. Maybe that should be viewed as a kind of poetic justice.

    Posted June 5, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink
  5. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    “Poetic justice for Michael”? Extremely fitting I should say. And extremely annoying for those who cannot comprehend anything but their own desire to keep the lies to the forefront of global consciousness.

    On a smaller scale, we are destined to confront again any lesson, truth or injustice we have not assimilated deeply enough.

    I am thinking that all those who continue to slander, destroy and mutilate are in for a long life. Made longer by being forced to see,to hear, the ever-lasting admiration and love of us, “the special ones”.
    for our hero.

    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink
  6. Lynaire Williams said . . .

    What fun! And let us Boogie!

    Posted June 5, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink
  7. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    You first, L. Ha!
    “Get up girl; le’me see what you can do!”

    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink
  8. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    “On a smaller scale, we are destined to confront again any lesson, truth or injustice we have not assimilated deeply enough.”
    I’m thinking you meant on a personal and individual scale, right? Because I see it already collectively happening on a global scale!
    Time to celebrate. Work, but celebrate.

    Posted June 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
  9. MagUK said . . .

    Brilliant post Reverend B….thankyou. It’s very difficult to produce the art without the finance isn’t it?. I also agree that there were probably all sorts of reasons why particular tracks did not get released .. (and some fans tend to oversimplify).

    Do you know what? I hope Michael’s Estate becomes so wealthy that eventually his dream of building a children’s hospital will be fulfilled.. I’m sure he would be delighted.. but the only way to do that is to put products out there that will generate that wealth, and yes along the way many of the people involved will also become wealthy.. so what’s new?. Hey.. we are talking about Michael Jackson here!!.

    I accept there is a fine line between being rewarded for your work and exploitation. I love the Xscape album, and I am also one of those who continues to have Michael in my mind constantly. I was absolutely thrilled to walk into my local HMV and see him at the top of the charts again. It’s never going to be exactly “what Michael would have wanted” but as long as he is kept in the limelight where he belongs , and as long as things are done with respect for not only his art, but the man himself..well I have to say I am OK with that.

    Posted June 8, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  10. gertrude said . . .

    I’m surprised when people think they know what Michael would have wanted after he was no longer here in the flesh. Michael was always collaborative, and had lots of stuff on the burner of that nature at the time of his passing – and after Thriller, didn’t he want Bad to double his sales of that album? So, um, what makes anyone think he doesn’t want his estate making money?

    He wanted a children’s hospital built to his specifications. How does anyone know he doesn’t still want that? How is that supposed to happen without a major amount of money? The “Estate” is what Michael himself ordained to run his business when he was no longer corporeal – which means he wanted his business to keep running.

    This is why I have stepped very far away from all the “discussion” – because of the faction that shrieks about THEIR idea of how HIS business is to be conducted, or rather not-conducted since apparently nothing of Michael’s should sell because the cash goes into his estate, HIS estate – and in their incredulous “loyalty” to him, pay no mind whatsoever to how he himself wanted to profit.

    Posted June 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
  11. B. Kaufmann said . . .

    Jackson was reputed to be a very shrewd businessman. And he was all about promotion and understood intrigue and exclusivity as huge tools for promotion. He did, after all, manage to negotiate the highest paying artist’s royalties and residuals in the recording business, made himself essential to MTV and its very survival when MTV refused to feature black artists, was at the cutting edge of everything new, avant garde, and novel (understated.) He collaborated with artists and musicians from every genre and negotiated to acquire and historically preserve a catalog of fellow artists worth a billion dollars.

    I see both sides of the argument– the hologram (from a fan perspective) was disappointing. It was immediately evident it was an impersonator and not a true hologram. But the audience reaction and Michael Jackson’s sudden resurrection and contemporary relevance doesn’t just make him a performer spanning 5 decades. It spans 2 centuries and continues…

    His sudden reappearance sparked interest by those not previously introduced who likely will look at the history and the rest of his work and discover the treasure in those lyrics. The bigger picture is: MESSAGE RE-DELIVERED. Some people were moved. Some remembered. Perhaps a fair trade if one steps back a bit from the screaming little bratty ego (stamping the foot and demanding ‘I want what I want and I want it now’) and surveys the whole sweeping landscape.

    It is, really, all about love.

    Posted June 8, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Permalink
  12. MagUK said . . .

    Gertrude/Reverend Barbara…couldn’t agree more.. At last some common sense..

    Posted June 9, 2014 at 5:46 am | Permalink
  13. gertrude said . . .

    I didn’t like the hologram either and can’t watch it anymore – I didn’t know it was an impersonator when I saw it but to me it was too much of an empty shell of the actual man, and too sad.
    But Michael charting and his estate – and therefore his charities, hello – rolling in it? Hallelujah.

    Posted June 9, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  14. Greet Belgium said . . .

    I am again very late in reading. And I tried (try) to see everything related to Xscape from every angle. If I have to choose between the release of an album (finished or not by Michael) which brings attention to Michael in a good way, or false allegations and media slander, no doubt I vote for Xscape. Michael would too, that’s for sure. If I had to choose between nothing, and an impersonator in a so called “hologram” or whatever it was, it is simple, I would vote for the hologram. It is like you say Rev. Barbara, It is not Michael that we get to see, and even the best hologram will not be him, it will be an illusion anyway. So finally, I am happy that all these things happen. And maybe it is not perfect…. but that is exactly what is important, that we KNOW it is not perfect, and never will be. Let us imagine the part that is missing, and enjoy that Michael is in the spotlight, meaning, his message is in the spotlight too. Maybe HE was an is able to collect a few souls more because of the new releases and projects. Thank you for your dedication to MJ.

    Posted July 8, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

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