Michael refers to the total consciousness of the universe as the Tao. There are many universes, each learning their own lessons and dealing with their own particular game plans. The universe of which we are a part developed along the lines of having focused and creative energies in duality and energy patterns—the number patterns three and seven being particularly significant. In accordance with the Law of Seven there are seven essence roles, seven planes of existence, seven levels of soul perception, and so forth. The Law of Three manifests as ordinal, exalted, and neutral; affirming, denying, and reconciling; active, passive, and mediating. These patterns repeat themselves in many different forms.
The motivating force is that the universe wishes to know itself. All growth increases self‑knowledge and awareness. For this purpose, the universe creates games through which it can have new experiences and thereby come to know more about itself. One of these games is called “the experience of separateness,” i.e., the experience of the Physical Plane. The Physical Plane is created by slowing down energy to the point where it vibrates slowly enough to be solid. Thus you are able to experience having your own body, identity, and consciousness as separate from that of the universe as a whole. This Physical Plane is a plane of duality. Every gift comes with a challenge, every challenge brings a gift, whether that seems true in the moment or not.
All activity within the universe is governed by individual and collective choice. No one is ever made to do something she really does not want to do. Those who wish to do so can remain in the Tao, in contact with its total consciousness. A certain percentage of the Tao (about five percent at any given time) agrees to take on new experiences by coming to the Physical Plane. We are part of this five percent. The individual parts are called fragments (of universal consciousness) or Essences. A fragment is a tiny bit of the Tao that takes on the pioneering work of experiencing itself as separate and limited, moves through the seven planes of existence and, eventually, returns to be united again with the total consciousness of the Tao. This is called the Cycle of Experience. Once the fragment has reunited with the Tao, it can remain there, play a different game, or return to the Physical Plane—most likely on a different planet.
The universe itself passes through Planes of Existence as do individual Essences on the Physical Plane. Generally speaking, there are seven planes, and seven levels within each plane. Once the Physical Plane, the first of the seven, has been created, the Tao seeds various planets with organic life suitable to the different environments. Then it watches as those species develop and evolve, waiting until the point at which those species can sustain sentient consciousness. What is required is that the species develop the capacity to use the intellectual part of the intellectual center. This is when self‑awareness ("I know that I am") first originates. At this point, the Tao sends sentient fragments (Essences, or Souls) into those creatures, and they become a sentient race.
The fragments that decide to go to that particular planet first go to a “holding zone.” This is not a separate plane of existence, but an astrally experienced part of the Tao called the Bardo, where you go before you come to the Physical Plane, and where you transition from the Physical Plane to the Astral Plane each lifetime when you die or are waiting to be born while your new body gestates. It is there that the Soul Entities are formed, groups of about 1,000 fragments who agree to share their consciousness and experiences throughout an entire Cycle of Experience through the seven Planes of Existence. Seven of these entities form together into a cadre. Twelve cadres make an energy ring. Most of your relationships will be with members of your cadre or energy ring. Each planet is assigned a specific amount of energy rings of any one sentient species, like we humans.
At this time, you also choose what Role or basic characteristic of Essence you will have. If you decide to have an Essence Twin, that connection is made. Your Essence Twin is usually someone outside of your entity with whom you choose to have a mirroring relationship throughout the cycle, someone whom you will meet in most of your lifetimes and with whom you will develop a variety of intimate relationships. Your Essence Twin may have the same Role as you, but usually does not. The entities vary. Sometimes they will be composed of only one type of Essence Role, and sometimes they will have all the roles represented. It is most common to have a majority of two or three Roles and a sprinkling of a few others. (The entity Michael, for example, is made up of Warriors and Kings.) The entire entity shares a telepathic higher consciousness. After having fragmented and completed the experience of the Physical Plane, they will later reunite on the Astral Plane.
The entity fragments do not all come to the Physical Plane at the same time; some will forge ahead and others follow later. Essence Twins, however, do come at the same time so that they can be together and share similar historical experience. In the process of incarnation, from your first through your final life, you choose your parents, what kind of body, and into which culture you will be born. Before you get here you have the most control over what circumstances you will be born into. You also choose your sex and your Overleaves—the basic personality characteristics from which you wish to operate. Coming to the Physical Plane means making a commitment to work through an entire Cycle of Experience: that is, moving through the different levels of soul perception in a series of lives on the Physical Plane, and then moving through the levels of the other six planes (or cycles) as you advance towards the Tao once again.
The choice to make an appearance on the Physical Plane while retaining full consciousness is made by the Tao itself, rather than by individual fragments. That appearance is called the manifestation of the Infinite Soul. The Infinite Soul comes not to learn but to teach and to assist souls and entire planets in their soul perception transitions. The Infinite Soul can manifest from any of the seven Planes of Existence and in whatever form it wishes. Jesus, Buddha, Mithra, and Mohammad are examples of human manifestations of Infinite Soul experience.
The normal process taken by fragments, however, is to agree to forget connectedness to the Tao on the Physical Plane. Forgetting your relationship with the Tao is what allows you to take on new growth experiences. Separateness encourages growth here. Not having all the answers encourages you to experiment with new methods. Each sentient race is a new experiment in the development of consciousness. As the fragment ages and accumulates experiences on the Physical Plane, the forgetfulness wears thin and it longs to reunite with the consciousness of its entity and the Tao. This drive becomes quite strong in older Souls as they complete their experiences here. Eventually the fragment “cycles off ” the planet by not taking on any more bodies here and moves on to lessons on the Astral Plane.