(The basis has been added here at a later date from the rest of the text to provide upfront the foundation of my thinking, therefore some of the concepts introduced here at the beginning will be reintroduced later as if for the first time.)
I start with a faith stance propelled by what I know of physics and adding to that the prospect of varying degrees of consciousness beginning with its most rudimentary expression being manifested through the (proposed by some particle physicists) minute subatomic strings of energy, and from there manifesting through out all of cosmos to its highest and most complete in form in the dense physical: the universe as an atom – an individual containing all lesser manifestations within its bounds. Further at every level of expression I picture many more dimensions of existence in subtler and more subtler forms beyond the view of the physically bound consciousness, but still possible to perceive by the human consciousness that works to liberate itself from the dense, form bound consciousness.
Life Eternal as energy permeates all in existence. Consciousness, I propose, is what animates energy – gives it its properties and causes it to behave as it does. Consciousness is what makes energy come alive imbuing all that exists with energetic life. Behind this life is the consciousness of what we obtusely call God and Who is responsible for bringing all into existence. I say obtusely for the consciousness that is responsible for all we know to exist is so beyond our own level of awareness; is so fine and so subtle and yet so large and so complete that we can have no adequate grasp of this Divine Being. Yet it is that we are all exponents of said Consciousness, this Life, this Divine Being, for it is all inclusive of all that is (and I dare say all that can be imagined as well and even all that cannot).
I further propose that God’s (Life’s, Consciousness’) most prevalent quality recognizable by human sentiment is absolute perfect unconditional love. This is the force that brings all expressions into existence in all their diversity (diversity for the sake of experiencing said love) and that again takes them out of expression for the sake of transmutation of form from a lower one to that of a higher one worthy of the growing consciousness individualized in and held by each form.
All that is made is made of God/Life/Energy/Love. Love is in all that is. The idea that love is not in something is brought about by the illusion that there is something other than God/Life/Energy/Love. This illusion is brought about by the limits placed on consciousness by the dense physical form which perceives everything in pairs of opposites when actually all opposites are merely part of one spectrum.
Even the illusion that there is not love can be considered love because the illusion’s purpose is to create contrast so that love may be known experientially through the experience (illusory though it is) of what is not love. Thus Life/Love affords Itself the opportunity to know Its Self (Absolute Perfect Unconditional Love) on an experiential basis. Our purpose is to know and see Love for what it is in all things regardless of the illusion that it is not always there. In so doing we become experientially self-realized units of God consciousness.
Such awareness in Christian terms is called Christ Consciousness, but such awareness is not limited to Christian terms. Such awareness is unlimited and available to all regardless of their religion or lack there of. (The Christian would do well to take note that Christ is a Christian conceptualization of a universal reality and so also is not limited by Christianity.
We are Life Eternal. When we see love in everything we realize this. When we don’t we won’t.
FAITH STANCE – GOOD GOD
In answer to the question: Do you know for sure that you have eternal life??? the first thing that comes to mind is that God is so very good. I am so grateful for His goodness; so amazed by His goodness; His absolute perfect unconditional love, that it becomes in my mind, (when I’m in my right mind) all that matters. The concern for preservation of my little self pales in comparison to even the tiny inkling of awareness I am blessed to have of such goodness. The promise of eternal life is a fine thing but one that I don’t want to be preoccupied with. Just let me see more of what it is like to be in absolute perfect unconditional love right now!
TRUTH MUST ALIGHN WITH INFINITE GOOD
Many years ago I decided that all truth that I would be willing to consider must be in sync with my faith stance that God is infinitely good. Such infinite goodness is doubtlessly beyond my capacity to comprehend and see all the ramifications thereof, but I figure that truth regarding the doings, being and attributes of God, as far as I can conceive of them, must, bottom line, jive with even my limited conception of what is good. With
this in mind I have formed the opinions I share with you here and continue to seek for further guidance and insight into the infinite goodness of God.
Such vision to comprehend otherwise impenetrable levels of truth, I believe, God reveals to us bit by bit as we seek for understanding with honesty of mind, sincerity of spirit and detachment from desire (Maitreya’s in-a-nutshell guides to enlightenment or eternal life). If I make mistakes in discerning the truth, which I’m sure that I do from time to time, I trust God/Life/Love to eventually make it known to me where I erred and reveal a correction or an improvement in my understanding. I pray that what I share with you here is the truth as best as we may comprehend at this time. Such is my aim but I make no claim that this is The Irrefutable Truth. All that it is, is what I think I have comprehended to date of the eternal mystery of the Unseen Presence – Energy, we commonly refer to as God, intuitively felt in the heart and interpreted by the mind. This it is that each individual must eventually choose to discern for themselves. It can be no other way.
We each must choose for ourselves what has the ring of truth and satisfy our thirst through a personal sifting through of all that comes our way and through our own attempts to answer the questions that come up through the process.
WE EACH MUST BECOME DIAMOND CUTTERS
Anyone who says that they know The Truth and seeks to impose their version on others, be they religionist, politician, of even scientist, I think, is missing an important attribute of truth: Truth is multifaceted. Like with a diamond in the rough where a jeweler, relying on his experience and knowledge of the trade, must choose from a variety of ways to cut the stone to bring out and maximize its beauty. This we must also do, with as skilled a craftsmanship as we can muster and drawing on our previous experience, intuition and mental capacities; we must cut from the rough diamond of thought, experience and revelation a polished and sparkling gem of truth. There are many rough stones, some more pure than others and many ways to cut each one.
If we let others do the cutting for us then we can never become a skilled craftsman at it ourselves. All we can do then is purchase and wear, or criticize and reject the gems others have cut without any clear conception of what it takes to discern what is true. To apply faith wisely and without blinders for only as long as is needed and only where needed most to supplement where direct experiential knowledge and study are lacking requires a skill we can only learn through personal experimentation and practice.
There are tools of the trade we need to employ such as diamond edged cutting wheels like the various religious scriptures, historical record, scientific theory, experimentation, research and proofs. There is the poetry, song, story, theology and philosophy that others have put together. These we can employ but we ourselves must guide the blade and make the choice of where to cut. Perhaps the most essential place a bit of faith is needed is at the outset when we decide for the first time to seriously enter into the trade of diamond cutter and picture in the minds eye a finished cut gem where sits before us at present a diamond in the rough.
ENVISION A FIRST PRINCIPLE
I have chosen to start the cutting of each new stone of an idea with what I will here in refer to as First Principle: That an infinite and therefore omnipresent God, characterized by infinite good, exists and is the first cause of all that is. It is this brilliance that I seek to uncover in each cut that I make from the rough and so from here I now continue and see if I can come up with a gem.
THE LOST and FOUND
Jesus taught that you must lose yourself to find yourself. What is meant by this? How are we to lose ourselves? And where do we lose ourselves? We live with the perception that we a separate individual – separate from each other, separate from other forms and separate from God. If we were to realize that all, including us, are contained within the First Principle above and so know ourselves as that then we might lose sight of the idea of separation and individuality and so be lost to ourselves in God. I believe this is what Jesus was alluding to.
I can’t think of a better place to lose myself than in the goodness of God since it is this that is the end all and be all of all things, the alpha and the omega. In fact, to lose oneself in anything else as separate from First Principle is truly to be lost and not found – if, indeed, all that actually is must be of, in and as First Principle due to the First Principle’s omnipresence. And so if I am lost to myself there in First Principle, of what concern is it to me whether I, as a separated self, am to have eternal life? To concern myself with this, it seems, is to come out of being lost in God back to the idea that I am separate and alone from God. It is enough to be lost in God’s goodness and is this not in essence the same thing as having eternal life?
MAKING SENSE OF LIFE, SCIENCE, REASON and FAITH
For what is life? Is it the intelligent life “as we know it” that scientists, out of principle must be skeptical (and rightly so, for the sake of quality research not dependent on faith) of being anywhere else in the universe but here on earth and limited to the human body and brain until it is proven otherwise? Is all life but that which we acknowledge is evident in the three kingdoms flora, animal and human?
No, to my mind, life is everywhere present throughout all of cosmos, for so is God and God is Life (see below – ITS ALIVE!). I respect the field of science and its empirical disciplines and such disciplines will be an oft used tool in the diamond cutters tool box, but there is much more that the mind may grasp through the mechanism of spiritual intuition – a heart felt sixth sense that can first imagine a possibility and then determine if it has the ring (a sense) of truth to it. The mind itself must be understood to be a sixth sense. Thoughts have life. (God is omnipresent – God is Life – Life is in all forms – thoughts are forms – thoughts have life.) Well considered thoughts open the mind to thoughts of an intuitive life nature (higher mind) that live beyond the reach of thought that is purely deductive (lower mind) or (lower still) muddled in emotional reactivity Such intuitive visions of truth must at some point be proved through experience but are not provable yet and so must be taken as theory. Faith may be put in such theories but one must be careful for the mind that employs faith wields great power to blind as well as to enlighten.
Much of what I say here in this letter, to my own satisfaction in my internal as well as external experience of the world, I have proved to myself to be true. I cannot prove it to you or anyone else. This is why we each must cut our own diamond. We can take cues from others but it is our own internal experience that bears out whether we have made a true cut or not. I none-the-less, to the best of my ability, and springing from the First Principle above, will use reason and sense to form a work that will hopefully make sense to you and others.
For God to be first cause and creator of all that is, He must have created all things out of His own being thus making Him omnipresent as well as omniscient. God must also be alive but this clearly expands the definition of life to levels beyond definition because God, being infinite, cannot be adequately defined. Any definition we can come up with will be limited due to humanity’s limited knowledge and ability to give expression to something infinitely beyond human imagination.
Since God is alive and omnipresent, the very atoms and subatomic particles, as well as the celestial heavens, then, must be alive with God’s presence, God’s goodness, God’s life or energy, and therefore God’s light (the illumination produced through the creative process) and even God’s love (the appreciation of the goodness of that which is created). At the atomic level that life is rudimentary, yes, but none the less alive with the power and energy of God. And at the celestial level the outworking of God’s life is well beyond imagination. I take this on faith, I guess, although to me it seems irrefutably obvious and follows logically from my first proposition (First Principle) that an infinite and therefore omnipresent God that is infinitely good exists and is the first cause of all that is.
ETERNAL GOD – ETERNAL LIFE
Life itself is eternal for God is life and Life, as I just defined it, is God. (I think it is fair to substitute the word Life for the word God for there can be no life outside of God since God is first cause and omnipresent, and reversely, it would be pointless for God to be outside of life since God is alive.) Oh, I know your question regarding my confidence in eternal life refers to the life span of a human being and whether the specific consciousness of a particular human (mine in particular) may, or will, or will not survive bodily death. But in the ultimate scheme of things it matters not one iota, for Life itself is eternal and the Life that you and I are dots of, and that God shares with us, is one Life and it is enough to be immersed in that eternal one Life without asking the question: Will I, my consciousness, my soul, (or whatever we want to call forms that may or may not survive) survive my bodily death? Life is eternal and so bodily death only indicates a change in form and not the death of life.
Life goes on and on and whatever is of God survives the temporarily individualized bodily formations that Life takes on and that is good enough for me. Let all that is not good pass away and if God judges that that be ‘me’ (the forms Life occupies) so be it.
But, is there anything that is not good? Could the perception of bad or evil be an illusion? If all that God created out of His infinite goodness is good can evil truly exist? If not, why do we perceive that it does?
LIFE IN FORM
Jesus said: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” Thus Jesus, the man, indicated that the son of man did not equate his form with God. It is important to note the distinction here is the same one I just made above between Life and the form Life takes. I believe it is not meant to indicate that God is good and forms are bad, but simply to make it clear that the form is temporary – impermanent and not to be confused with the Life that uses the form to make Itself manifest. So let’s not be attached to our bodily form or anything else but to God alone and know that all that is good is evidence for God, for Life, for what is eternal.
Jesus, the Christ, also said “He who has seen me has seen the Father”. This statement is coming from the Christ (the Life) within the man Jesus; the only begotten Son of God within the form – the son of man. “Christ” is the title of the Life or Word of God from the beginning (as in the Gospel of John, Chapter One) manifest in man, the form, and that lives within every form if we could but see it, but we confuse the form with it and so remain in darkness.
LIFE IN CHRIST
Jesus said: “I Am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.” Here, Christ makes clear that the only begotten Son of God is the only way to apprehend any inkling of God. I believe that “only begotten Son of God” refers to the Life that is God that is in all things. We can only come to God through recognition of that Life that is God hidden in all forms.
Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away but my words (Christ’s) will not pass away.” Heaven and earth are forms and so are not permanent, but I take what Christ said here to mean that His words are words revealing the Truth, or Word, or Christ – all three words being synonyms for the formless Spirit of Life Itself (God) that he embodies, and that Truth will not pass away.
‘Life in Christ’ is another way to express the losing of one’s self in the goodness of Life (God) that I spoke of earlier. Christ is the Word of God, the Word that is with God from the beginning and that is written upon the heart of man, and only evident to those that turn their attention to the good of God. When we lose ourselves in Him (not the flesh form [man] of Jesus, but rather the Truth Word [Life] of Christ) we trade our attention to the little form masquerading as self for an attention to the Higher Self, the Life of God within us. That Christ Self or God Self is all inclusive of all that is salvageable from material existence. I predict that nothing in our material experience will be lost however, because every experience of loss, every suffering moment, is a golden opportunity to experience the goodness of God. This happens at a minimum through contrast of what we experience as bad with what we experience as good, for it is by such contrast that experience of good is made possible. Deeper than contrast, however, is the mystical ability in Christ (lost-ness in the good of Life) to turn a bad experience into good and loving outworking. If this is so, If “all things work together for good for those who love God and work according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28) is there anything that is truly bad or evil or is this merely a trick of perception?
In the ultimate wisdom and goodness of God all that is truly good in life is eternal; for Life is eternal and Life is good; for God is good and God is the source for Life. Nothing coming from God can be bad. If we perceive bad in life then we have imperfect vision for “God makes all things good for those who love God and work according to His purpose”.
What then, is God’s chosen purpose? That all should have life and have it more abundantly! Look! (To see it lose yourself in it!) The entire universe is alive and we are participating in it and it is all good and working little by little toward the outworking of God’s purpose – life abundant for all! “What wondrous love is this”?!
When we work towards God’s purpose we shine light in the darkness. The darkness is the perception that there is bad (death) in life. When we witness something we first perceive as bad and then see how new expressions of life spring up out of the fertile ground, made that way by “dung, rot and decay”, we see the light of goodness. Contemplate Christ’s “death and resurrection”. His resurrection proves “death” to be merely a change of form for Life that is eternal from the get go. The question is do each of us identify with that Life and work according to Its purpose or do we identify with the form that Life temporarily takes and so question whether life even has purpose?
We work according to God’s purpose when we sow good seed and do what we can to help the perception of goodness grow. Such light bearing is like leaven in the loaf, wherever the light is shone the “dough” swells with enriched goodness. When baked in the heat of experience, the resultant “bread” is heavenly. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. It is in the here and now right under our noses if we will simply open our eyes to it. And it is eternal.
This seems to conflict with Christ’s statement: “Heaven and Earth will pass away but my words will not pass away”. Christ and His words represent the Word of God. The term “Word of God” in turn is, perhaps, the best attempt we can make in the human tongue to express, in a nut shell, the splendor and glory of God’s far reaching goodness beyond all capacity of human understanding. It is this Word that will never pass away while we will eventually graduate from our human concepts of heaven and hell, earth and sky, time and space, scripture and the perverse, separation and death as we further and further lose ourselves in God.
SIN and DEATH and GRACE
You may ask: what about original sin? All have sinned and the wages of sin is death. As you say in your pamphlets we will not escape this life without dying a bodily death. I believe sin is of the flesh (form) and its perceptions and its consequences in the flesh are adequate. Mind and the sense of separation that mind entertains – a sense of self with a small s – is also of the flesh, albeit more subtle in the form of thoughts and emotions, and we must die to this emotional and mental sense of separation too. There is no getting around it and why would we want to save our sense of separation anyway, when we can lose this sense of limitedness in an ever increasing awareness of God’s infinite goodness?
But even sin has a purpose. When Jesus and his disciples met a man on the road who was blind from birth the disciples asked who sinned? Was it his parents that sinned and so this man was born blind or did he himself sin in a previous life and that is why he was born blind in this life? And Jesus said to them that the man was born blind that this day God may be glorified and then He made the man to see.
Is this not also the case with all sin – if when we turn all we are and all we do to God’s purpose (to Life’s purpose) the best we know how? If it were not for all our mistakes in judgment (our sin, if you prefer) whether they be innocent or malicious, we would not be able to know from personal experience the goodness and glory of God. There would be nothing to contrast with His purpose and as a result we would be blind to how very good God is. Because of this simple truth every evil is made into good and glorifies God when we get around to identifying with Him and working toward His purpose.
What if we don’t get around to God’s purpose in this bodily life time? We still are, albeit unwittingly, a part of the plan by providing more fodder for the glory of God to be proven with! Nothing is ever lost for good. It just seems that way temporarily so that we may better see and appreciate and have the joy that comes with the perception of God’s goodness and grace.
LIFE AFTER DEATH
I see no need to have any concern for life after bodily death. Let not that be what motivates one (like a carrot on a stick) to glorify God or work according to His purpose or to accept the teachings or salvation of Christ. Rather, let it be the joy in this very moment of knowing how very good God is and that that goodness permeates everything about us, even within ourselves; for God, Life, is everywhere present including every cell of our body, every inkling of feeling, every dot of thought, every flash of intuition, every touch of spirit, every spark of soul, every sun of the divine, every galaxy of cosmos!
A POWER OTHER THAN GOD
Take care not to entertain thoughts of a power other than God (Life), outside of God, for to do so is to think that there is some other power besides God and besides good. This will contribute to misunderstanding and fear. Where would such an outside power come from if God is first source and creator of all things? Would it come from us humans, or His fallen angels because of free will? If so, it must have been foreseen by God and a part of His plan and purpose and so is within His power, fulfilling His plan and has no power of its own.
When we begin to recognize this we are starting to free ourselves of the path of perceived separation, judgment, pain and death and coming on board the train of freedom, peace and realization of life eternal in the here and now. But this means letting go of our judgmental attitudes and the idea that we are each a separate self. Then we understand that science is not separate from religion even when others perceive it that way. We understand that government is not separate from religion even while we faithfully practice separation of church and state. We understand that commerce is not separate from religion, that all we do in any walk of life may be dedicated to the divine purpose of the One Source. And we understand that one religion is not separate from another religion for the practice of true religion is not in the adherence and loyalty to some dogmas and precepts while being prejudice against others, but rather, religion is the realization of Life (God) and Its purpose; Self-realization with a capital S.
THE REVELATION OF CHRIST
It is this, I believe, that Christ came to reveal to us, through His life and teachings, His bodily death and experience of separation, His resurrection and ascension; the demonstration of just how good and universal God is. And it is for this same reason that He comes again at another turn of the spiral to give us even more powerful encouragement to change our thinking, to put aside our fear and judgmental-ness and move forward in the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth in the here and now. This is to recognize that as He comes to us from apparently outside of us, He at the same time emerges from within each who will open the door; for we are not separate from Him.
“Accepting Christ as Lord and Savior” is a way of expressing the becoming aware of this presence. We could call it The Principle of Permanence, Omniscience and Omnipresence of God – outwardly throughout creation and inwardly throughout the self – the ceasing to see one’s self as separate from God. There are many other ways to express this same truth; “Self-realization” for instance. To be fully Self-realized is to know ones Self to be the Life of God – the Christ – the Only Begotten. The reason that Christ is invested with the power He has is because of His complete recognition of this. Within this recognition is the awareness that He also is all of us because there is no separation in the One Life. We are called to contemplate this and then demonstrate this just as He did and does.
FORGIVENESS SAVES SOULS
We are not saved from the perception of death until we become Self-realized through lost-ness in Christ, or the Life of God within us, within all that is. What helps one to come to this awareness is not the fear of death (is that what an infinitely loving Creator would want to be the motivation for coming to Him and His purpose?) but rather the
forgiveness and grace inherent in the goodness of God. Jesus told many parables on forgiveness and emphasized that we must love our brother as our self. And who is our brother? Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan. Our brother is anyone we meet regardless of their religious persuasion, nationality, race, gender, orientation, good or bad, etc.
The words of Jesus from John 20.23: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any they are retained.” And Luke 6.37: “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
From these words it is clear that when we forgive someone a perceived wrong then we have spoken for God and they are forgiven. (The Life of God, the Only Begotten, lives within us as Christ but it is even the son of man – the son of flesh and body – the growing, evolving human consciousness that has the power to forgive sins. The difference is but a matter of perception. Consider Mark 2.1-12 about the paralytic healed) Likewise when we forgive, we are then able to be forgiven. When we hold something against someone then it sticks and also means that our mistakes will take hold in us and we will not be free. It is the Life of God (Christ) that saves us from the perception of death, yet most all of us miss the point that that Life is the very Life that breathes in us every moment of every day. We therefore have the power to save someone from their own perception of torment and death by simply forgiving them. And in so doing we, at once, save ourselves as well, because separation is an illusion of perception. What we do to another we do to ourselves. There is no getting around it. The same Life that is in us is also in them.
What if Jesus had resented those who hung His body on a cross to die? It was the grace and forgiveness that He displayed there on the cross that is our example to save the world – our world. There is a perception of the world for each of us – ours. Within our own framework of perception it is up to each of us to find it within ourselves to forgive all; be it a pesky fly or wasp, be it Osama Bin Laden or Hitler, be it God or mother and father or brother and sister, be it an insult or injury, be it persecution and death. If we find we are unable to do it for even one individual then we have some work to do on the way we perceive things. Losing ourselves in the goodness of God, the Life of God (in Christ if you desire it in the Christian framework) is the path to the Father. No one can come to His Holy Feet by any other means. Forgiveness of all is required for this lost-ness in God. And it is only in His Eternal Life that we find salvation from the mere perception of death.
Perhaps it seems that all this is but a mincing of words to put things in terms that are more favorable to my own world view and perception of things. That is exactly what it is! It is the cutting of a gem from rough stone and I have much more cutting to do. I will not be done until I have completely put into practice and so fully realized what it is I say here that I will be done.
It behooves each of us regardless of religious or ideological persuasion to forgive those who don’t think the way we do about things; to find the center of our thinking in the center of theirs though at surface level it appears so different from our own. If we cannot, it is a tell tale sign that we are lost in our own perception of God instead of lost in God.
MEETING LOVED ONES
Praise God and work according to His purpose. The purpose of the fear of bodily death can only truly be fulfilled as that same fear is irradiated away by the love and appreciative joy in the heart that is present as one yearns and aspires for realization of the goodness of God. Thus the purpose of fear as in all suffering is like that of the blind man on the road: to glorify God through its transformation into an expression of truth, goodness and love. Then, like the lily of the field we radiate God’s beauty. It is here in such radiance that we shall meet our loved ones again for it is here that our loved ones reside just as God resides in all things – us too.
What is it about them that we love? Is it not that unique expression that they were of Life, the One Source, God? We miss their bodily presence and yet we carry them in our hearts. We may see them sooner then we think when we lose the idea of separation and realize eternal life in the heaven of loss of self in God. Do you see all idea of separation melting away? God, Self, Christ, Life eternal, and our loved ones are all together right now. We share all this with them regardless of how we perceive it, but how we perceive it determines whether or not we are aware of this shared Presence.
The form (such as a human) is like a lens through which Life is focused. Each lens appears as an individual and has a unique perspective in regards to all the other lenses of the Divine. They all, however, have the same Life shining through them so that when one lens is discarded the Life is not, but merely picks up another lens through which to focus Its attention while preserving the experience gained through the previous lens. So be not attached to any particular lens but know that all that is good is preserved forever in the Life that shines though the form and know as well that it is all good. “God saw what He had made and lo, it was very good.” We are That.
The prayer of St. Francis says all that I have just said much more succinctly:
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light:
Where there is sadness, Joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
Love’s in everything,