STEPS ON THE PATH, PART III
Our world offers us the opportunity to cooperate with it on a spiritual basis or to argue with it on a material basis. If we do the first, we have an abundant life with great peace. If we resist and argue with circumstances, we find our troubles heap themselves upon us in even greater measure.
So, this month we are looking at how to cooperate with the world on a spiritual basis. This month we are choosing to respond spiritually to everything the world has to offer - and right now it's offering plenty! - by building a spiritual armor from the inside out - an armor of consciousness that protects, strengthens and empowers us.
We are building this armor out of 15 concepts taught by the Master Teacher Jesus, the Christ, as discussed in Deepak Chopra's book, The Third Jesus.a
Now we all know that Jesus is a pretty important figure in the history of spiritual development. If you're not sure how important, listen to this story . . .
The Pope was traveling to a speaking engagement. When his plane arrived at the airport, there was a limousine there to transport him to the hotel. As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.
'You know' he said, 'I just turned 90 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Do you think as a birthday present, you would let me drive it for a while?'
The driver said, "No problem. Have at it."
The Pope gets into the driver's seat and they head off down the highway. A short distance away, sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap. The long black limo went by him doing 95 in a 65 mph zone. The young trooper pulled out, caught the limo and got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure. He walked up to the driver's door and when the glass was rolled down, he was surprised to see who was driving.
He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor.
He told the supervisor, "I know we are supposed to enforce the law.... But I also know that important people are given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person."
The supervisor asked, "Is it the governor?"
The young trooper said, "No, he's more important than that."
The supervisor said, "Oh, so it's the president."
The young trooper said, "No, he's even more important than that."
The supervisor said, somewhat exasperated, 'Well if it's not the governor and it's not the president, then, for crying out loud son, who is it?'
The young trooper, shaking, said, "I think it's Jesus, because he's got The Pope for a chauffeur!"
Yes, Jesus is a pretty important spiritual figure - not just for those who built a religion around him but for all of us.
As I said, we are exploring 15 of his concepts as discussed in Deepak Chopra's The Third Jesus; 15 concepts that build our spiritual armor BECAUSE they move us into greater and greater and even greater levels of God consciousnesses (that's what Chopra calls it).
Fillmore wrote in a pamphlet called Jesus Christ's Atonement: "We shall come into conscious recognition of the Christ Mind, making the conjunction between our mind and God's mind, just as soon as we let go of the limitations of mortal sense."b
Each of these 15 concepts helps us to surrender the limited sense of self and align with the whole. In the past two weeks, we've looked at 6 concepts (listen to the talks on our website from the last 2 weeks if you want to catch up!).
Today we look at three more:
"As you sow, so shall you reap"c;
"Resist not evil"d; and
"In my father's house are many mansions."e
1. AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP
1. As You Sow, So Shall You Reap
Even if someone has never set foot in a church, they are most likely familiar with that statement, right? And similar statements such as:
What goes around, comes around.
What you give out, you get back.
As you are to the world, the world is to you.
Like attracts like.
Or: Let no words come out of your mouth that you would not wish to have returned to you.
As metaphysicians, I think we all understand this idea as it relates to our experiences in the world. And I talk about this idea on a regular basis - about how our thoughts, feelings, words, actions -in other words the conscious or unconscious choices we make -- create the experience we have, so I'm not going to go into that today.
The place for exploration today is this question, "what does the idea of 'as you sow so shall you reap' have to do with our growing conscious connection with God? What does it have to do with our ever-evolving God or Christ Consciousness?"
Well, let's think about that for a moment. In order for this concept to be true, then we must be intimately connected to the whole.
Otherwise, our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions would stand alone and have no effect back on us, right?
But they do have an effect on us - a boomerang effect really - and Jesus wasn't the only master teacher and deep thinker to tell us this!
Here are just a few others:
From the Buddha: "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thought."f
Henry David Thoreau: "The Universe constantly and obediently answers to our conceptions."g
From The Upanishads, Sacred Hindu Scripture: "One's own thought is one's own world. What a person thinks is what he becomes -- that is the eternal mystery."h
Proverbs 23: "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."i
And from Chopra in one of his other works: "Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind."j
In order to really GET the idea that what we put out, comes back to us - I mean deeply get it and live from it, not just give it lip service - we must also really get . . .
that we are One with the One,
that we are part of the whole, and
that what we do affects the totality and
is then is mirrored back to us.
And realizing this is a huge step in our developing God Consciousness.
In a sermon by Ed Rabel he said: "Fewer people can articulate that Mind Action is a more specific application of the law of cause and effect. In the case of Mind Action, cause is the state of our consciousness and effect is our life experience."k
And we are Cause - that is what Jesus was telling us when he said, "As you sow, so shall ye reap!" From that awareness, we can move to the next concept of the morning . . .
2. RESIST NOT EVIL
2. Resist Not Evil
We can have such a struggle with this idea.
Charles Fillmore writes in the Revealing Word: "A mental state of resistance indicates an unyielding personal will. Evil has no power except that which man gives it by his thought. Resisting evil is a way of affirming its power. A positive, fearless attitude in facing the appearance of evil overcomes it, and this attitude comes from the understanding that evil has no power."l
Who's familiar with the book written by William P. Young entitled The Shack? It's a Spiritual novel that was on the bestseller list - about a man whose faith and even belief in God is shaky at best, which is then completely shattered when his young daughter is kidnapped and murdered!m
The man, Mackenzie, gets a mysterious note seemingly from God to come to the Shack, a place that played a pivotal role in his daughter's abduction. Despite reservations, he goes.
God is depicted as three people (Father, son and holy ghost) manifesting in interesting ways - i.e., God the Father (nicknamed Papa) is a large black woman!
Now, the book has a pretty traditional Christian bent about Jesus dying to save our sins AND it has some beautiful metaphysical messages as well. The greatest one - that is completely in line with metaphysical thinking, are ideas about evil.
I want to share with you a dialog between "Papa" and MacKenzie: "We want to share with you the love and joy and freedom and light that we already know within ourselves. We created you, the human, to be in face-to-face relationship with us, to join our circle of love. As difficult as it will be for you to understand, everything that has taken place is occurring exactly according to this purpose without violating choices or will."
"How can you say that, with all the pain in the world all the wars and disasters that destroy thousands? And what is the value in a little girl being murdered by some twisted deviant? You may not have caused those things, but you certainly didn't stop them." Mackenzie accuses.
"Mackenzie," Papa answered tenderly, seemingly not offended in the least by his accusations, "there are millions of reasons to allow pain and hurt and suffering rather than to eradicate them but most of those reasons can only be understood within each person's story. I am not evil. You are the ones who embrace fear and pain and power so readily in your relationships. But your choices are also not stronger than my purpose, and I will use every choice you make for the ultimate good and the most loving outcome. The real underlying flaw in your life, Mackenzie, is that you don't think that I am Good. If you knew I was Good and that everything - the means, the ends, and all the processes of individual lives - is all covered by my goodness, then while you might not always understand what I am doing, you would trust me."
I am reminded of the Old Testament scripture that says: "All things work together for good for him who love the Lord."n
To "resist not evil," we really must come to the realization that God/Good is in the middle of everything. Chopra suggests that being able to do this involves a process. Jesus isn't calling for instant conversion to pacifism, nor is he asking us to be blind to the terrible acts of evil when it goes unchecked.
What he is teaching - changes as we pass through the stages of our own spiritual path. We cannot PRETEND to love our enemy, yet when we come closer to God-consciousness, such compassion comes naturally.
It's a little bit of a catch 22 - you really can't "resist not evil" unless you have expanded into greater God consciousness - and you can't really expand into greater God consciousness as long as you are resisting evil!
So, where to begin? Right where we are. Perhaps right here now. With the realization, as so beautifully said in The Shack that: "The choices we humans make, even the ones we call evil, are never stronger than God's goodness and love, and God will use every choice we make for the ultimate good and the most loving outcome."
And so we can use this idea to expand into greater and greater relationship with God - every time we choose to see God in an "evil" situation; every time we choose to forgive; every time we remember that Good is coming out of it all - every one of these things expands us!
3. IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS
3. In My Father's House Are Many Mansions
This statement of Jesus' is usually interpreted in the context of the after life.
But I want to give you perhaps a wild interpretation this morning, but one that fits in perfectly with the other two concepts we've explore thus far today.
. . . a really knowledgeable NT speaker who was speaking about this very passage and who said that the Greek word used in the Bible is interpreted in English as "mansions." However the Aramaic word, which was the language of Jesus, is more correctly interpreted as "dimensions."
And that is exactly the "wild" interpretation I wanted to talk about today! It is consistent with an interpretation based on Quantum Physics and proposed by author Gregg Braden in his wonderful book The Isaiah Effect.
According to Quantum Physics, many outcomes for a given moment already exist. Everything already exists!
Braden writes that: "Like the bible passage, "in my father's house are many mansions," the "house" of our world is the home of many possible outcomes for the conditions that we create in our lives. The choices we make as individuals determine which mansion, or quantum possibility, we experience in our personal lives. For example, choosing forgiveness, compassion, and peace attracts already existing futures that reflect such qualities. Quantum physics suggests that by redirecting our focus we bring a new course of events into our experience while at the same time releasing an existing course of events that may no longer serve us. Could bringing peace into our lives be as simple as a concerted, unified effort to focus upon peace as if it were already here? Ancient traditions ask us why we would make it any more difficult."o
Could our expansion into God or Christ Consciousness fully and completely be as simple as a concerted, unified effort to dwell upon the fact that it is already so?!
Quantum physics suggests that we will then move into that mansion!
So let's move into that mansion.
- The mansion that is filled with the presence and power of God.
- The mansion where all of God's love and goodness resides.
- The mansion of realizations that we are One with the One, that we are part of the whole, and that what we do affects the totality and then is mirrored back to us.
Let it be your way...
aDeepak Chopra, The Third Jesus
bCharles Fillmore Jesus Christ's Atonement
gHenry David Thoreau
lCharles Fillmore Revealing Word
mWilliam P. Young The Shack
oGregg Braden The Isaiah Effect