You cannot alter your Body Type or Role except by subtle extinguishment and this is achieved only after all else is balanced. Thus, the Role can still manifest in one acting primarily out of Essence, but not to any measurable extent in the occult master.
In other words, you can't change them to different ones, but you can soften their influence.
One can't have a body without having body types--by definition--so you cannot actually extinguish your body type. And one can't have an essence without an essence role. I can't conceive of a vanilla essence, with no axis or cardinality/ordinality, and no particular number of inputs. There are people whose traits are spread among the axes, such as a priest with a discarnate warrior ET and artisan/scholar casting, but there's no particular advantage to such a configuration. The person is still a priest, although it is less obvious than with someone whose energies are more concentrated, such as a priest-cast priest with a priest ET.
However, you could "subtly extinguish" one's role and body type if that means rubbing off their rough edges by being balanced. The spirit of this passage, if not the wording, is that as we awaken spiritually, the limiting factors of our traits are reduced because the negative poles are reduced, and one flexibly uses the most appropriate energies. For example, as a sage, I don't need to act stereotypically sage-like if it's not appropriate; I can be in the background rather than center stage. But I'm still a sage, with three inputs, on the cardinal expression axis.
On page 397, Michael makes the point that "These are life Roles and are unimportant on the Astral plane." In other words, a king soul may be in charge more often on the physical plane, but not on the astral, where we're not acting out the dramas of life so much--it's more like being backstage. But even on the physical plane, king souls many times don't act out the role of king. The essence roles are defined by far more than just how they tend to interact in human affairs, the life role they tend to take. Kings are characterized by a sharply focused cardinal action-axis energy that has a unique feel. That doesn't go away.
On page 376, Michael says, "There were Warriors and Kings in this Entity." My experience of them is that they're still warriors and kings--the energy is unmistakeable. Yes, they are functioning with more unity at this point than as individual fragments, but the individuality isn't entirely lost. Individual fragments can still be identified, such as Michael saying that a channel is working with a king fragment with particular casting.
Elsewhere in the transcripts, Michael speaks of other causal entities with different role compositions, implying that roles are not actually extinguished or dissolved on the causal plane. And an entity made up of warriors and kings is different from one made up of priests and sages (or of all roles).
I get the impression that in the early channeling, Michael was still refining their own understanding and how to communicate it in English. (Simultaneously, Sarah was refining her ability to channel--the material was substantially better after the first few months.) In this case, the concepts of life roles and essence roles were muddied. The material was further refined (or just changed) by Yarbro a few years later (after the original group had largely disbanded). The process of refinement is ongoing. All of us, Michael included, have to sort out some muddy thinking on our way to clarity. It is not unlike a first draft, in which thoughts can benefit from further refinement--the words don't necessarily come out right initially. It takes a lot of work to polish.
My chief objection to the languaging of the channeling in both the transcripts and the Yarbro books is that it excessively generalizes about soul ages, roles, and overleaves, with a negative slant, rather than saying that something is sometimes or often the case. If readers understand that those generalizations refer more to negative poles, to people who are largely unconscious and on autopilot--that is, who are not examining themselves and their lives--they will be better able to use the material. The generalizations have done the most harm relative to soul ages. It's true that unconscious young souls sometimes are superficially materialistic, for example, when living from the negative pole of the young soul age. However, more conscious young souls can contribute just as much spiritually as old souls if they are so inclined (as "Crystal" in the original group illustrates). It's true that in general, the older the soul, the more inclined it is to seek, but many souls never seek, and some (especially priests and servers), seek (and sometimes find) quite early.
The catchphrase "All is choice" is helpful here: even what is normally a difficult combination of overleaves can result in a beautiful human being if s/he so chooses to use them more consciously, in alignment with essence. Nothing on a Michael profile is necessarily limiting or defining.
An essence may choose difficult overleaves to repay a karmic debt, assuming that the personality will be fairly unconscious, trusting that autopilot will get the job done, but awakening is always possible, allowing for more positive choices.
"MICHAEL SPEAKS" TRANSCRIPTS:
Melody: Have any Entities reunited with the Tao?
The Tao has existed always. Yes, there have been many, countless in fact, cycles.
Dick: Maybe we have done this countless times.
At a date in the past that is unutterable in your language.
Yarbro apparently doesn't believe in previous grand cycles, but this passage supports the idea.
"MICHAEL SPEAKS" TRANSCRIPTS:
Understand that the Personality used in the present reincarnation dies with the body and any communication would be with the Essence, and thus alien.
From my own experiences with mediumship and everything I've read and heard from others, I believe that the personality continues as a sort of subpersonality of essence, continuing to evolve. Most of false personality dies with the body because most of it is generated by the body's fear of death/not surviving. But when communicating with the other side, I don't find that all misconceptions or narrow beliefs have disappeared. It's still the person, at his/her level of evolution, and it's still that particular personality, distinct from all the other reincarnational selves. It's also possible to communicate with the essence at a higher, more inclusive level.
Here, Michael speaks about essence twins (ETs):
"MICHAEL SPEAKS" TRANSCRIPTS:
Twinning is rare between some Roles, frequent in others. Scholars rarely twin and usually with Warriors. Priests and Sages twin most of the time, Artisans and Slaves frequently, Kings rarely.
This quote is an example of differences between the original channelings and the Yarbro books (and other later channels).
Yarbro says that six times out of seven, souls twin with the same role, without referring (to my recollection) to scholars "rarely twinning and usually with warriors" or to those with no ET. Most of the rest of channels I'm aware of find in our practices, at least, that it's the reverse (usually ETs have different roles). (I discuss this discrepancy in my book "Journey of Your Soul" [JOYS].)
I see a lot of scholar and warrior ETs, as mentioned in the quote, but even more scholar and priest combinations. (These role combinations are also highly attracted to one another and make for common matings.)
JP Van Hulle channeled that about 5% of souls have no ET. My practice is not necessarily reflective of world norms, but in this case, it's fairly close to what she channeled: about 3.6% of my charts have no ET. I have far more scholars with no ET than any other role, so that kind of agrees with the quote, but that is still only about 9% of the scholars in my database. Therefore, in my practice, "rarely" isn't the case. (Only 2% of the kings in my database don't have an ET.)
I'm two-thirds through reading the first volume of "Michael Speaks" (which is the transcripts themselves), and the concept of positive and negative poles for the roles and overleaves has still not been delineated. Michael instead speaks of the negative manifestations of various overleaves as though the problem is the overleaves themselves, rather than just the negative poles, and urges people to change them; e.g., from acceptance to growth. But at one point they also say something negative about growth, so what's a fragment to do?
The later concept of learning to stay in our positive poles was indispensable to the teachings. No longer were students encouraged to engage in the almost futile (and usually unnecessary) attempt to change their overleaves. (Even in the transcripts, Michael says how difficult that is.) In the rare instance of a walk-in, overleaves might be changed, but otherwise, the birth overleaves usually do the job. If a particular overleaf is problematic or no longer appropriate, the usual solution is simply to slide to the opposite, such as from cynic (probably the most difficult overleaf) to realist.
With consciousness, one can deliberately bring in energies of other overleaves to meet specific needs, but one's chosen overleaves remain the defaults. There's no problem with that as long as they aren't used mechanically. Being in their positive poles assumes alignment with essence. What, for example, could be wrong with being in the positive pole of acceptance, agape? Even the positive pole of cynic, contradiction, can serve a useful purpose--we need some positive-pole cynics to make us examine our preconceptions.
We now understand that the goal of growth is a lifetime built around meeting the challenges of new, stimulating experiences. The original channelings assumed that it was a goal of spiritual growth, but that is often not the case. According to Yarbro, 40% of us have this goal, the most common one, but 40% of us clearly are not consciously pursuing spiritual growth. We also understand that spiritual growth can happen with any goal.
There are also some contradictions and outright mistakes within the transcripts. Michael comes off as extremely smart (the causal plane is intellectual, after all), astute, and wise, but not infallible--they're still growing, too. Sarah comes off as an extraordinarily gifted channel, sometimes able to get names and personal information unknown to her. It helped a lot that group members were quite connected to one another, which makes psychic access easier. For example, it is far easier for a channel or psychic to tune in to a friend of a friend (the connections are strong) than to a stranger. It also helped that Sarah read two or three books a week and had a huge scholar storehouse of knowledge for Michael to use, especially regarding history.
A challenge in reading the transcripts is that the summary of the questions and discussions often don't seem to go with Michael's replies, and it's often hard to get clear on exactly what Michael was saying. The transcripts were originally prepared not for posterity but for group members. In many cases, they probably knew pretty well what was being referred to and understood the shorthand better than we can now.
There is a lot of discussion of sequences, which has almost disappeared from the teachings. I gather that the term refers to a series of related experiences across several lifetimes with the same souls, but I haven't see a definition yet.
The team that assembled and edited "Michael Speaks" worked hard to find missing transcripts, but it's obvious that there are still many. There are continual references to Michael having said things previously that are not in them, including some core material. Perhaps some of the channelings were in private sessions that were never distributed.
There's 357,000 words in Volume 1. A typical non-fiction book has 70,000 words. Considering how tedious it was to channel at a Ouija board one letter at a time, this material is an extraordinary accomplishment. And although I quibble here, this is a rich, valuable body of material, with much food for thought.