Leave a comment

The 6 C’s of Separation

The 6 C’s of Separation

It was a couple years ago that I began developing the concept of “The 4 C’s”. I published the idea in a blog post, but I didn’t name it “The 4 C’s”, so I’m really not even sure which of the now 212 posts introduced the idea.

The seed of the idea came when I was praying about “keeping up with the Jones’” – the idea that I felt somehow less or unworthy because I had not experienced the things that others had described – experiences or milestones called, “The Second Comforter”, or “Baptism of Fire”, “Calling and Election Made Sure”, etc. As I was praying, the words came to me, which I attributed to Jesus, “Do not compare your experiences with those of others”. It took a while for the lesson to sink in, but today I recognize that tendency more quickly and easily, and so am better able to guard against the consequences.

So, “The 4 C’s” started out as:

  • Comparison
  • Competition
  • Contention
  • Control

These represent a process that initially creates separation (comparison) and then fortifies it; comparison leading to competition (no one want to be last), which, of course leads to contention, and eventually the tendency to seek to control others.

Since this initial understanding, this progression toward greater and greater separation has continued to cement itself in my understanding and perception, as I’ve perceived my own behavior, thoughts, and tendencies as well as that (those) of others. I’ve perceived the “4 C’s” in action over and over again, and they always lead to the perpetuation of the illusion of separation.

Since the formation of that initial concept, the 4 C’s have actually expanded to 6 C’s, with the addition of:

  • Compulsion
  • Contempt

Now, there’s nothing doctrinal or compelling (heaven forbid) about this concept. I simply find it a useful tool for recognizing the triggering and progression of separation in our relationships, this separation being a denial of the oneness that I think is our intended inheritance.

If I may, then, I’d like to address again, from an enhanced perspective, the components of “The 6 C’s of Separation”:

Comparison

It all starts here. There is no positive outcome from comparing ourselves with others, or with some standard. We will either think ourselves less than, or more than, the object of our comparison. This either fosters pride or unworthiness, guilt, frustration, etc. When we begin to comprehend the concept of unconditional love, comparison becomes unnecessary. Within the context of unconditional love, we live with trust, faith, hope, and charity, in the knowledge, or at least hope, of the oneness of all that is. We need not, indeed can not, qualify for salvation – theoretically the ultimate act of love (but not unconditional) as wrought through the sacrifice and atonement of Jesus Christ – but we can receive our inheritance, our perfect place in the universe.

Comparison is the result of doubt, of mistrust. It results from believing that we need to “earn” our place in eternity.

Comparison is also the antithesis of humility – the beginning of the end. I would define humility as the acceptance, even the love, of your own perfect, true self, without the need to validate it through comparison to others or to some ideal.

Finally, comparison is the trigger for competition.

Competition

In addressing this issue of competition, I am talking about competition for worth. I’m not referring to games, or athletics, unless we allow our successes or failures in these endeavors to become a measure of our eternal worth or the value of our soul or the souls of others.

The natural outcome of comparison is competition. If I perceive myself as less than someone else, then I will naturally desire to address that and fix it. That can only be done in two ways:

  • Abandon the very idea of comparison; surrender the need for validation through comparison.
  • Engage in competition to improve my status.

One problem with option 2 is that, as soon as we indulge in comparison, we will find that there is always someone who we perceive as “greater” than us. In order to compete, I must look for an “edge”, or a weakness that I can exploit. To do this I must judge, and I might even make things up. Have you ever known a person who constantly elevates themselves by pointing out the faults in others? This is what we risk becoming when we begin to engage in competition.

This need to exploit the weakness of others while, of course, hiding our own, leads to:

Contention

So, if we expect to come out on top, we need to emphasize any weakness that we can discover in our adversary (adversary? Did I just convert my neighbor into an adversary?), even to the point of making things up, accusing, judging, belittling, condemning. We also must make sure we conceal our own weaknesses, and in doing so we basically throw integrity out the window.

Next, we assume that our neighbor (or is that “our adversary”) is doing the same thing. Trust flies right out the window, too. Everything others do is perceived as conniving or self-serving, while everything we do is intended to further our “standing” in the hierarchy. I’m really not enjoying this! No, not at all!

Ah – now we have introduced the concept of hierarchy. Yep as soon as we graduate to an attitude of competition fueled contention, a hierarchy necessarily results. I know the scriptures often imply an hierarchy of authority as characterizing the government of Heaven, but I believe this is absolutely contrary to the spirit, the personality, the nature, the order of Heaven. If there is any hierarchy, any authority, it is a hierarchy, and authority of service, humility, and love. He who is the least shall be the greatest.


Finally, contention is the outcome of fear – the fear of the actions of others; of losing your place in the hierarchy; or of becoming somehow less “worthy” (contention and worthiness seem oxymoronic to me – but maybe that’s just me. Actually, the idea of worthiness in any form is anathema to me.) When we act out of fear, we graduate into:

Control

A logical outcome of competition, especially if we win that competition, is the desire to maintain that hard-won status by exercising control over the behavior of others. This control can manifest itself through setting boundaries (rules, dogma…commandments), or by actually using some sort of manipulation to either encourage or, worse, force behavior that will preserve our status. Of course, all the time that we’re seeking to establish control, we will certainly continue to compete against others seeking to elevate our status by – how? Well, by either bringing others down, or by elevating ourselves through winning the competition that we’ve initiated.

So, exercising control by limiting or manipulating behavior, using rules, doctrine, dogma, commandments, or narcissistic manipulation and bullying is bad enough. But there is another method of control that takes things to a whole other, highly destructive level:

Compulsion

Compulsion is control on steroids. Compulsion involves the use of force to control the behavior of others. Force can come in many forms. The most profane form, of course, is physical force, or even the threat of physical force. Government works in this way. Laws are enforced by the threat of, and often execution of, force.

But there are other types of force that can be used to compel behavior – economic, cultural, emotional, psychological. “Bullies” who are clever enough will use these types of force before resorting to physical force, and even then the really “clever” ones will exert economic, cultural, emotional, or psychological force to manipulate others into executing that physical force in their behalf. Models of this type of behavior abound in our society, from school bullies, to gangs, to government at all levels, to cults, to religious and other types of communities and societies. Of course, all use of force leverages fear to further our exercise of competition and contention in favor of our comparative standing in our relationships.

Now, we arrive at the crown jewel for the 6 C’s of separation:

Contempt

Is there any word in the English language that belies love more than “contempt”? Even the word “hate” implies a grudging respect, but contempt is even without respect. Yet, this is where all of this separation activity ultimately leads.

If we compare, and seek to compete and contend, but fail to elevate our standing, our worthiness, we will most certainly hold ourselves in contempt.

If we succeed in elevating our worthiness standard through successful competition, contention, and control, even though, no especially if, we resort to compulsion, would we hold those whom we have compelled or “conquered” in any perspective other than contempt. We certainly won’t love them.

Wow! Contempt!

That is such an ugly word. And it all started with that innocent, benign, but ever-so-sneaky indulgence in comparison.

The First Shall be Last, and the Last Shall be First

So, Jesus is recorded as comparing the sheep and the goats. But what characteristics do you think accompany those “sheep” who would stand at His right hand? Do you think they got there by indulging in comparison with others, and seeking to elevate their standing through contention, competition, and compulsion?

What did Jesus say when the apostles asked Him who would be the greatest, implying, of course, that someone must then be least? Silly apostles.

“The Kingdom of God is within you”.(Luke 17:21) Could the Kingdom of God, truly be built upon principles of hierarchy and these 6 C’s of separation? Could there possibly be any room for control, compulsion, and contempt in the Kingdom of God? And, if the Kingdom of God is “within you”, can there be any room for these things within us?

What does D&C 121:34-46 have to say? (This is an excerpt from a letter by Joseph Smith, which letter I hold in high regard as a standard of love. The term priesthood as referenced below is greatly misunderstood, but to me it means the opportunity and responsibility to act, only in service and love, in the name of God, and carries with it no authority other than the authority of truth.)

Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.Hence many are called, but few are chosen. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;…Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.


I think to simply leave this letter to stand on its own…

These “6 C’s of Separation” describe a natural progression that we are all subject to, and it all begins with comparison.

But I don’t believe that Christ compares us to anyone or anything. His unconditional love is just that – unconditional. This is the defining characteristic of His righteousness and perfection. So, any need for comparison is of our own creation – is born of fear and a failure to “know” Christ, and is the antithesis of oneness, of heaven.

The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

I’m afraid those would would elevate themselves at the cost of others shall, ironically, find themselves very much alone at the top of the “heap” of their creation, with none to compare themselves to. It has long been said that “It’s lonely at the top”.

Those, however, who seek not status, do not indulge in comparison, but spend their energy, their light, their love searching for the divinity in their neighbor, and trusting in their own infinite worth, will find themselves partaking of the fruit of the tree of life, filled with the knowledge of Christ, and waiting with infinite patience, confidence, and trust for their beloved neighbors to arrive in their own due time, to share freely in their joy..

2 Comments

New Years 2021 – a Message of Love

Our reality is one of perception. It can be no other way. Our 5 senses, and their ability to perceive the world around us are astonishing, but they are limited, and those limitations are different in each one of us. The perception of a blind person is not the same as the perception of a seeing person.

Our ability to perceive includes intuition, or revelation, or the Holy Spirit – whatever we wish to call it – that tool of perception that we call spiritual because we don’t really understand its “mechanics”.

Then, all of this input is filtered through our experiences, our desires, our hopes, our fears, prejudices, jealousies, etc. All of this makes our perception of the world around us very, very personal – perhaps even a definition of who we are – yet it remains incomplete. We do not have, or have not developed, the tools to perceive all truth and all reality.

In this way perhaps we can begin to understand how the world is our mirror. In other words, we perceive according to what is within us – that very, very personal and very, very incomplete engine of perception that is…us.

When we apply this perception to others, we combine two beings of perception to form a relationship. What we perceive in others can be nothing other than a reflection of ourselves. It can be no other way. We cannot possibly perceive in others something that is not, at minimum, a part of our experience and understanding. In this way, everything that we perceive in others is perceived through empathy. You truly cannot “make this stuff up”. Our perception of others must exist within us or we would not be able to perceive it in the first place.

So what do we wish to see in the mirror that is our relationship with others?

Do we wish to see judgment? Do we wish to have harshness, fear, hatred, guile, guilt, reflected back to us in this great relationship mirror? If we generate such a reflection by assigning these attributes to others, they invariably must become part of us. Try as we might, we cannot push them away, for they must begin within us before we can assign them to others.

But if we, instead, wish to have love, and peace, and sincerity, and a desire for righteousness and all that is good reflected back to us, as part of our experience, we must strive to perceive that in others. The idea of separation is actually an illusion, and is not reality. Since we can only perceive in others that which we perceive in ourselves, in this way, we are all one.

This, of course, lends yet another meaning to Jesus’ biblical plea that we “love our neighbor as ourselves”. The love with which we perceive others is reflected right back to us. That love that we extend to others becomes part of who we are. Love just gets bigger when you give it away!

A little over a year ago, I published a post entitled simply, “Grace”. In it, I defined “grace” as “the desire, willingness, and ability to love and accept others as they are…now”. I have tested that definition over the past 15 months or so, and, for me, that definition has held up well, The more I test it, the more I realize that it contains profound, eternal truth.

There are many beliefs about Jesus, and about Christ. I have sought diligently for much of my life to “know Him”. What has been revealed has led me into and out of organized religion, but always toward a greater knowledge of Jesus, of Christ, and of who and what he truly is.

And I think “grace” defines very well what it means to become Christ. Christ, then, is one who perfected the “desire, willingness, and ability” to love others for who they are…now”.

I also believe that this “Christ” is within each of us.

Finally, I believe that this is the key to the fulfillment that we all seek for ourselves. This key is that we seek that fulfillment first in others, and then it will blossom within us.

It came to me with great love this morning, on New Year’s Day, 2021, that this is our purpose on earth – to seek first the kingdom of heaven, the Christ, the grace in each and every person that we meet and, in doing so, release that Christ, that grace, within us. This is how we love our neighbor as ourselves.

Love. Christ. Grace. When we perceive this in the world around us, in the people around us, we glorify and magnify it in ourselves.

My hope is that each of us can find it within ourselves to first perceive, recognize, and then celebrate the sincerity, the love, the beauty, the perfection, the grace, even the Christ in each person that we meet; that we will cease pushing others away by judging them with destructive judgment; and instead create the true Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Leave a comment

Musings on the Atonement, Part 2 – “By His Stripes we are Healed”

In part 1 of “Musings on the Atonement”, we discussed a series of contrasts:

  • Fear vs. Love
  • Good vs. Evil
  • Oneness vs. Separation
  • Death vs. Life
  • Judgment vs. Empathy

In part 2, I hope to explore the idea that the Atonement somehow enables the healing of this illusion of duality / separation / fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Toward that end, I begin by exploring some familiar concepts in a different light:

Death

Death is indeed the wages of sin, but not in the way we think. It is not a punishment for unrepentant sin, but rather the outcome of unrepentant sin; the karma, if you will, of acting in the absence of love. Death is not eternal. Love, though, is eternal. As I pointed out earlier, when we judge others; when we assign them their punishment for their sin, we separate ourselves. Separation simply cannot yield eternal life. It’s just not logical. With separation comes boundaries, and these boundaries are perpetuated by the ego. Death, then, is the unfailing product of judgment, which itself is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Note that I am not differentiating between physical and spiritual death). Death is NOT eternal life. How’s that for logic?

Duality

I don’t intend to present a treatise on duality. Much greater minds than mine have tried and perpetually fail to fully explain the duality of duality vs. non-duality. But religion, scriptures, and culture are replete with – no, they totally rely on – duality being the bedrock of our very existence – or at least the perception of our existence.

One of my favorite illustrations of this comes from Lehi’s sermon to His family in 2 Nephi, chapter 2, verse 11 in the Book of Mormon, where He declares:

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one;wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

In other words, Lehi is saying that existence can only be defined by opposites. Nothing can exist except it be contrasted against it opposite. Otherwise, all things would “needs be a compound in one”. This is very similar to Lucifer’s tempting of Eve in the garden:

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:4-5

And it’s even more reminiscent of Satan’s soliloquy in the LDS Temple endowment, (which I used to have memorized, but have since forgotten, but which I would not detail here anyway out of respect for the sensitivities and beliefs of many dear friends of mine) where He expounds to Eve the pallet of duality that awaited her understanding and experience once she had partaken of the forbidden fruit.

So, duality seems to be a bulwark of our perception of existence: good and evil, pleasure and pain, life and death, sin and righteousness, love and hate, fear and love; it’s practically impossible to describe, even to imagine, life without expressing it in terms of duality. And duality implies separation, does it not?…as in “you and me”, or “me and everyone else”. This is existence that results from the fall.

But it seems to me that there is a problem here.

I AM”

Where do I even begin? As I’ve pondered truth over the years, this simple phrase / name / concept / declaration has gradually gained greater and greater weight in my understanding of truth and reality.

When Moses stood before God at the burning bush, and received his commission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he asked, seeking some sort of authority or power outside of himself (there’s a clue right there),

Behold,when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?” Exodus 3:13

God answered:

Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Now, to be fair, both before and after this declaration, God went to great lengths to make sure that Moses knew that He was the God of Moses’ father; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and the God of the Israelites. So, even though He was describing Himself to Moses in terms of duality, distinguished from the other “gods”, the “I AM” communicates exactly the opposite.

What does “I AM” say about God? To me, it belies “duality”, and indicates no limits. It totally summons ideas of omnipotence (no limit to power), omnipresence (no limit to presence), and omniscience (no limit to knowledge). It implies eternity, which is itself implied by the three “omnis”. It implies all things in one; it implies oneness; it implies infinity. In its simplest form, it suggests, “I just AM”. No name. No boundaries. No description. Just simple, complete, perfect, infinite existence.

One thing that is perfectly clear to me about “I AM” is that it leaves no room for duality. It has no tolerance for separation. There is no “pushing away”. It is truly, to belay Lehi’s sermon, a “compound in one”. So, God, in the sense of “I AM”, is not duality. God is not defined by opposition in all things. God does not entertain the concept of duality.

“I AM” is God’s way of saying, “Duality is a lie; an illusion! Don’t believe it!”

Of course, if we are to exist in oneness with God, we, likewise cannot exist in duality. I believe we are each our own “I AM”. There is a core of our creation that simply is. No opposition, no good or evil, no sin vs righteousness, no love vs. fear. We simply are, and we are as created by God in His (their) image. This “being”, this existence, is unaffected by perception. Like truth, it just is what it is. Our life experience as a whole may be the result of our perception, which is limited, distorted, duality-based, the subject of a constantly evolving array of desires, hopes, dreams, fears, preferences, understanding and misunderstanding, etc. But our I AM is perfect and is totally unaffected by any of this. It is (we are, I AM) ONE with God, as it was initially created.

The Atonement

So, what really happened through the atonement? What did Christ do in the Garden? What did He accomplish?

As I was discussing this topic with a friend, he pointed me toward the following podcast / transcript by Denver Snuffer.

https://denversnuffer.com/2018/01/podcast-episode-001-gethsemane/#more-3356

As I read the transcript, not for the first time, but certainly with an enhanced context, I was impressed with the following:

  • I think that Denver actually experienced this vision of Christ in Gethsemane, and that there is great, great merit in what he was shown. My respect for this man and his insights continues to grow.
  • The vision describes wave after wave of suffering, experienced in some incomprehensible (to us) manner; delivered in pairs – the suffering first of the perpetrator, followed by the suffering of the victim. This seems to represent first repentance, followed by forgiveness – the suffering relieved by forgiveness being greater than the suffering relieved by repentance; repentance being easier to summon within oneself than forgiveness. But there was relief. And Christ experienced it – albeit in between three successive waves of greater and greater suffering
  • There is a fine line between the idea that Christ, by His suffering, relieves us of the requirement to suffer; that he relieves us of the requirement for punishment – the demands of justice; and the idea that Christ, by His suffering, demonstrated the key to how we can avoid the suffering in the first place. The two concepts are easily confused, but in my mind the difference is highly important.
  • There are scriptures in both the Bible and in the extended canon associated with Mormonism that indicate that we are, or can be, healed through this suffering in Gethsemane. Actually, Isaiah wrote:
    But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
  • “…by his stripes we are healed”. Not can be healed. Not will be healed. Are healed. This does not even sound conditional, except that we need to stop punishing ourselves by doing what it is we do.
  • And – by his stripes we are healed from what?

*****************

I do not believe that Christ’s cosmic, mystical suffering in the Garden relieves us of a demand for punishment, because I don’t think there is any punishment externally imposed upon us other than the natural suffering associated with the experience of denying our inherent oneness with God and with each other. Acting out of ego is like slicing our true self – the very fabric of our eternal life – with a serrated blade – and it hurts. Living in ego is like walking around with a huge, heavy, bulky pack on your back. It makes everything we do more difficult, and tends to rob us of the joy for which we were created.

I do believe that Christ showed us the way whereby we can both repent, and forgive, and thus be relieved of the suffering that we bring upon ourselves. I do believe that if we follow Him, the way, the truth, and the life, we can discover why His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

But why did He have to suffer? And other than showing us the way, what did He do? What did He accomplish?

This is a supremely difficult question for me (for anyone) to answer, but I may have some insights to share. The hard part, of course, is not just comprehending it, but putting it into comprehensible words. But here goes…

Imagine being Jesus, having overcome, during His mortality, the suffering associated with the separation in the context of His personal duality – His ego – only to experience the separation, with its inherent pain and suffering, associated with the duality (the fall) of the whole earth and all of its inhabitants; and being asked to heal that suffering within Himself.

Imagine yourself in His shoes. You’ve recognized the fallacy of the fall. You’ve recognized that relying on your knowledge of good and evil only results in judgment, in separation, and is an unwieldy burden, at best, to carry around. You’ve worked hard to overcome this illusion, seeking to recognize and release the great glory and joy that is your true inheritance as a child of God’s creation – even the only begotten Son of God (whatever that means). You’ve cleared your own soul, found redemption, salvation, peace, even the fullness of the gospel, all without the aid of a savior or redeemer.

Only now, you’re being asked to accomplish this same thing in behalf of every soul who ever walked the path of the fallen. Here’s where it gets crazy…you’ve been asked, for some unknown (to me, anyway) reason, to accept every other sin, with its associated suffering, of every person who ever lived, as your own, sharing it with them, because that’s the only way we can truly establish oneness with each other. Even though you may have healed your own separation from God, as long as you continue to see the sins and suffering of others as theirs, the separation is perpetuated, and the healing required for complete oneness is incomplete.

Yes, imagine yourself as Christ. Imagine yourself experiencing this great, ultimate act of cosmic empathy.

Empathy!

Now, let’s settle a bit. Take a deep breath. Prepare yourself for the realization that, while we may not be asked, individually, to endure this cosmic, universal/infinite/eternal experience in the same way as Christ was asked (by whom?) and did, we do need to be prepared to perceive this atonement experience as our own in relation to every one-on-one relationship that we encounter during our own mortal experiences. While Jesus / Yeshua / Jehoshua ben Joseph, in preparation for the salvation of all mankind from the experience of (not punishment for) the fall, may have experienced it for all, we are only asked to be willing to accept this same, eternally empathetic, non-judgmental, separation healing experience for ourselves, and for one other individual at a time, not the whole world at once. We are asked only to heal ourselves, by extending perfect empathy to others, first within ourselves and then to others.

If we (all of us) are to be healed by His stripes, and thus avoid the suffering that results from separation, we must be willing to surrender judgment, stop pushing others, with their sins, away, and accept them (as we do ourselves) and their sins, with complete grace, as they are now – warts and all.

Jesus the Christ did this with all of us, in one great act of eternal, infinite empathy. Are we able to do this for each other, one relationship at a time, and in doing so, eventually heal the entire planet.

If we can do this, we can be healed from the fall – the fall that we each chose for ourselves. (Eve had nothing to do with it except in metaphor.) We are each Eve in that we choose to fall. And we are each Adam when we choose not to push Eve away. Each relationship, even with ourselves, (that between the ego and the true self) becomes an Adam and Eve relationship – accepting each other with perfect grace, wisdom, forgiveness, mercy; redeemed with perfect love, with perfect…

Empathy.

And empathy cannot coexist with fear.

In order to set aside fear, we must trust. We must have faith. We must have faith that we are not judged, but are loved – unconditionally – by God. We must have faith that, even if we share the sins of separation with all that we meet, we can never do anything to negate the perfect benevolence that is the essence of creation, the essence of divinity – even our own essence.

So, this is what I think Jesus – the Christ – did in the garden.

  • I think He experienced, through perfect empathy, the suffering associated with the sins that perpetuate separation and death.
  • I think He taught, and then showed, what it is that we must do, or be, if we wish to be full participants is the continuing creation of eternal life, which eternal life can only exist in the context of unconditional benevolence, love, charity.
  • I do not think He relieved us of the consequences of our own sins, but…
  • I do think He did something quite amazing. He started a nuclear reaction, a network, a web, of…empathy. He volunteered Himself as an anchor so that every person has at least that one perfect, non-judgmental, empathetic, understanding relationship that they can mirror, if they will simply copy that prototype for their other relationships. By creating that initial, perfectly empathetic relationship with every individual on earth, He established that if we will honor that relationship with Him (draw all men unto Him), and then turn around and perpetuate that – perpetuate it one relationship at a time – the whole world can eventually exist in unity, in oneness, in perfect grace. The network that was 2 dimensional with Christ (yes – not Jesus any more) at the center, becomes infinite, eternal, self-perpetuating, with no center, no hierarchy; with only love.

As a result of the drama in the Garden of Gethsemane:

  • The pain and suffering of the sins of separation disappear because there is no more separation.
  • The very cause of death is eliminated from our reality, and nothing remains to hinder the free flow of eternal life.
  • The duality, with its requisite judgment, of the fall is resolved into a universal “I AM”.

Jesus started it. Jesus, with perfect faith in the will of the father (which is simply that we love with perfect empathy), surrendered His own will (judgment and duality), and submitted to this great act of cosmic empathy and love.

In short, Jesus became the Christ.

And because of this – because He lifted Himself up as the great magnet of empathy – extending the perfect empathy, that perfect forgiveness, if you will, to all, He created the opportunity for each of us to:

  • Reject the ego, duality, the fall, judgment as a self-indulgent illusion born of fear.
  • Exercise faith unto action in the perfect benevolence / love / charity that is creation.
  • Extend perfect grace and empathy to each other, sharing each others burdens, sins, pain, suffering – even if it is self-created.
  • Release and glorify that perfect Christ that is the fulfillment of the measure of our creation.

He did His part, and He has invited us to do ours.

Leave a comment

Musings on the Atonement – Part 1 – “Fear, Love, Duality”

Love just gets bigger when you give it away”

“Friends Forever” by Shiloh Rising

Did Jesus perform some great cosmic miracle, as many religious traditions claim, in the Garden of Gethsemane, whereby He took upon Himself the punishment – demanded by justice – for all the sins committed by all who lived from the beginning to the end of time? Or did He perhaps perform an even greater miracle – one that we each have the capacity to emulate within ourselves? Or are there perhaps elements of both that resulted from that great drama – the drama that has been an essential influence in Western society for the last 2000 years.

In this paper, I offer, not as profound truth, but an explanation, for your consideration, of how I have come to perceive the act that took place in the Garden, as well as the lasting effects of that act, which effects we have come to call simply, “The Atonement”.

I should probably begin by describing why I think sin can reasonably be defined as “acting without love”.

In the first epistle of John in the New Testament, the author is quoted, in chapter 4, verse 18, as saying:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

There may not be a more profound, revelatory passage in all of scripture. It is just so rich!

Furthermore, if we switch two words around, we get:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth not is made perfect in love.

Let’s focus for a minute on the phrase, “…because fear hath torment.”

Sin is acting without love because sin is acting out of fear. Living – which is manifest in our desires, thoughts, and actions – in fear is indeed torment. Thus, sin carries with it its own punishment, or torment. When we live in fear, we do not have peace. When we act out of fear, we create destruction, even, ultimately, death. When we create out of fear, our creation is not eternal. We are wasting our time, literally. Dust in the Wind. When we act out of fear – when we sin – we cannot partake of eternal life.

On the other hand, love, “…just gets bigger when you give it away”. When we act out of love, we create love. When we give love away – the love within us, the love that feeds us, the living water of the fountain of life – just grows and grows. Love is never diminished when we give it away, only when we do not. Since it carries the seeds of life, it thus perpetuates the origins of, and continues the process of, eternal creation.

Sadly, though, the lot for most of us in this mortal existence is, in fact, an existence based in fear. This existence is ruled by the ego – the natural man. The ego’s primary tool to perpetuate its own existence is fear. Fear creates a sense of separation, which belies the oneness for which Jesus prayed in John 17 – “The Great Intercessory Prayer”. We fear others, and we fear ourselves. We fear the punishment or justice that we think accompanies sin, and so, when we perceive “sin” in other people, we judge them, push them away, and create even greater separation. We think, “It’s their sin, not ours, and it’s their punishment, not ours.” Perhaps we think to ourselves, “I have enough trouble with my own sins and their consequences.”

But what if we didn’t fear sin, neither our own, nor someone else’s? What if we recognized sin not as something to be punished, but as a product of the fall, a burden to be born but overcome, and thus a burden to be shared. What if we viewed each other as equal children of God, our spirits united, one, with no separation. What if we perceived each other with perfect empathy… “There, but for the grace of God, go I”? This is not to say there is no sin, but only that we do not fear it, but believe and exercise faith in God’s perfect empathy, which we then extend to ourselves and to others.

Jesus, in the sermon on the mount, is quoted as saying, “Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged; but judge righteous judgment.” What if, to judge “righteously” means not to judge within the context of justice, as most seem to believe, but instead, to judge with perfect empathy, recognizing that the “sins” of another are owned, shared, felt, and repented of as a whole, as a community of those who are willing to surrender their will (justice) to the will of God (empathy). Does not the whole village suffer when the maiden is forced to wear the scarlet “A”, or do they believe that they saved themselves from suffering because they have effectively, spiritually, and often physically cast her out from among them.

Perhaps Paul’s allegory of the body parts in 1 Corinthians 12 can be applied to more than just spiritual gifts. Perhaps it can be applied to all of creation. Note that this chapter 12, comes directly before chapter 13 – the great charity sermon. Thus, taken together, the two chapters provide a greater context; a context whereby the infinity implied by Paul’s description of Charity also applies to all of creation – that, ultimately, eternally, infinitely, none of us is complete, perfect, redeemed, saved – without everyone. How could a perfect God, anyway, create in love, and then cast off a portion of that creation? In summary – perhaps the infinity of charity applies to the whole body, which body, without any part, would be incomplete.

As I was writing this piece, my new friend Aimee Laun posted the following from The Way of Mastery Book 1: The Way of the Heart:

All beings are a spark of light (soul) at One with God and remain eternally as they are created to be.

We are each fully responsible for how we use the light to choose and thus attract precisely what we experience and this power of choice is the most fundamental aspect of the radiant and sovereign soul.

God is Love and Love does not condemn, there is no judgment. All beings are to be forgiven and supported (if they are willing) to transform their orientation from fear to Love. Only when we forgive and then find ways to serve this ‘Atonement’ may we truly awaken to a full enlightenment and enter Mastery.

This is so profound:

  • Each soul has agency – the freedom of choice – which is inherent to its creation and not to be compromised.
  • We are each responsible for the choices we make but:
  • We are all sparks from the same divine light
  • We exercise this power of choice with a framework of unconditional love, free from condemnation and judgment, as we seek to transform our “orientation” from fear (the self-created ego, the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil) to love (God-created, the fruit of the tree of life).
  • Judgment, then, will actually “dam” us from “enlightenment”, or from understanding the truth of our place in creation and our relationship to God.

If this is an accurate description of our intended existence, should we not seek to act in harmony with it? Do we have, in any way, the right to act in opposition to this? Is this,, then, perhaps a manifestation of the seeking of God’s will, of the spirit of surrender? Yet, we do; we do act in opposition, specifically when we judge the sins of others, or of ourselves, and undermine the unity that defines us as children of the same God, members of the same body, sparks of the same divine light.

In the Garden of Eden drama, Eve partook of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This story screams polarity, duality, separation, judgment. What can we possibly do with knowledge of good and evil if not, at a minimum, discern, but more likely judge. And such judgments are meaningless unless they are applied withing the context of relationships. So, Eve effectively chose judgment (which implies justice and punishment), duality (opposition in all things), and polarity (good vs. evil) when she “partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil”. Prior to this, she and Adam “walked and talked with God.” They knew oneness, and they did not know shame, which is the result of – wait for it – judgment and the resulting guilt. Adam, then, partook of the fruit because he recognized that if he did not, he and Eve would be living in completely separate realms of existence; completely different realities – he in a world defined by oneness and unity – she in a world defined by opposition, duality, polarity. She had chosen “separation”, and Adam had to follow suit or lose her. Ironically, in order to choose unity with Eve, he had to follow her in choosing duality and separation.

Oooooh, my head hurts! And Adam was such a mensch!

So, we each, as illustrated in the Garden of Eden drama, choose sin, with its resulting separation – from God, from each other, even from our true selves. We create a very lonely world for ourselves. We do this when we create the ego in response to fear, and abandon love, oneness, and unity – which is the default archetype of our existence. We choose this, but we do it in response to the forgetting that takes place at our birth. (Is this the seed of the idea of original sin – since we do not KNOW we are creating the ego, but we do? But how can we be held accountable, or punished, for something we don’t even realize we are doing?) I suggest that our challenge in this life is to recognize this choice (sin) and its repercussions (separation) and begin to choose otherwise. This is called, by many, the “awakening”. It is also called by other names such as conversion, redemption, entering in at the gate.

But this “choosing” truly is only the beginning of a process of shedding our dependence upon the ego; upon the belief that fear is our salvation – that if we fear correctly, we can protect ourselves from the choices of others. Oh, I meant to say, “if we judge correctly”. Or did I? I just seem to get those two words, fear and judge, mixed up. It’s almost like they are so tightly linked together, it’s hard to differentiate. E judge out of fear, and we fear judgment. Furthermore, they seem to represent a “chicken or egg” scenario – which comes first, fear or judgment? It’s kind of like asking which comes first, good or evil.

And this, I think, is where the atonement comes in, and why I think we both understand and misunderstand it at the same time.

I have applied the invitation to “seek, ask, and knock” to this topic, and, to some extent at least, the answers have been found and unlocked. Yet – there remains much to discover.

I perceive something truly remarkable, of eternal cosmic, mystical significance (magic?) happened in the Garden of Gethsemane. I perceive that Jesus (Yeshua) participated in this event, that it was somehow planned, or at least anticipated by His “Father”, the creator. I also perceive that God’s unconditional, infinite, perfect love is manifest in what happened in the Garden.

In part 2 of “Musing on the Atonement”, we will explore what I think are some of the principles and purposes behind the atonement, and what may have really happened.

2 Comments

Jesus said, “Let me love you”

Jesus said, “Why can’t I just love you?

Why can’t I just love you the way you are, now? Why do you always feel like you have to live up to some standard before we can just love each other? Why do you always feel like you’re not worthy, or not good enough? Even if you think you’re beyond that, it lingers. You continue to seek justification, worthiness.

It hurts, you know? It’s actually lonely when everyone pushes me away because they don’t think they’re good enough, or I’m too good. How would you feel if everyone put you on a pedestal…’the only perfect man’…and then denied you the love that brings you your greatest joy?

Perhaps you don’t realize the ways in which you push me away. Right and wrong. Good and evil. Judgment, justice, punishment. These concepts only come between us, and keep us separate. They prevent us from being one…from loving each other.

You say, ‘But you’re God’.

What does that really mean? ‘God’. Yes, I’ve lived more, loved more, learned more. Yes, I have more wisdom and knowledge than you. I have a great mission. And I have access to power that you cannot understand at this time, including the power of resurrection. But you will have access to all of this if you learn to fully love. And of all these things, the greatest power is simply love, and you deny me this because you think you’re not good enough.

You see, love is the key that unlocks eternity…for each of us. For you. For me. For each of us and for all of us.

What is God anyway if God cannot extend love, and have that love received – freely, wholly, without condition? Do you think that Paul’s mini-sermon on love in his letter to the Corinthians somehow does not apply to me? It applies to all things, to all creation. Nothing is permanent if it is not love. Only love is eternal. So, if I am eternal, and if you are eternal, we must be love.

But instead you fear me. You fear that I will judge you, even punish you. In truth, my love is so far beyond any concept of judgment…there is really not room for judgment in my love. No, I just want you to be joyful. And I want to teach you to be joyful…how to create your own joy. The was the purpose of my earthly mission. This is the will of the father, and this is my will, and in this we are one – in desire, in will, in purpose.

And we would be one with you in this same way. This is our will. This is our desire. This is the measure of all creation.

But instead, you’re afraid.

Please don’t be afraid. Please take me at my word that love is all things. If you love me, then please keep my commandments, which are to love God – me, us, you, creation – and to love your neighbor as yourself.

When I invite you to come unto me, it is an invitation extended without condition, without guile, without implied threat if you do not. It is a free, open, invitation. And it is not a commandment. It is an invitation to partake of the love that defines me; that defines the Father; that defines all creation.

But you’re afraid.

Why are you afraid? Why will you not come to me like a little child – fearless, trusting – and let me love you? What have I ever said or done to cause you to do otherwise? Why can I not just love you, and you love me?

Of course, this invitation remains open. And I remain patient. But I will never be whole until each of you have come to me, and me to you. Loving each other. Without fear. Yes, I will never be whole until each of you let me love you; and until each of you love me. And each other.

Without fear. Without condition. Without holding back…

…Please”.

4 Comments

Realizing Zion

Zion is all about relationships.

Relationships are all about love…

and faith.

Faith is the antidote to fear, and there can be no fear in love, so if I would love, then I must have faith.

Faith in what, you say?

Faith in the real power of love. Power to create. Power in eternal life. Power to transcend the impact of whatever force might be exerted upon us by nature, or by others,and remain our whole, true, spiritual selves.

Faith in peace and harmony. Faith that love, peace, and harmony are our default state of existence. And if we are not experiencing love, and peace, and harmony, then we have somehow separated ourselves from the god of creation.

Faith in unconditional love…love that simply is. This is the love of God, charity, the pure love of Christ. Love that is conditional in any way is less than perfect and is not eternal. We must have faith that we are not only capable of this unconditional love, but that this love is the defining characteristic of our true self, just as it is the defining characteristic of God. In other words, unconditional love is our I AM.

And just as this unconditional, perfect, eternal love is our defining characteristic, it is also the defining characteristic of our neighbor. And if we are not acting toward each other within the context of this unconditional, perfect, eternal love; or if our neighbor is not acting within the context of this love, then there is something wrong. We (us or our neighbor) have separated ourselves from God, and thus from each other, and we need to heal. Heal our hearts, heal our relationship…heal Zion.

Because Zion is all about relationships, and relationships are all about love…and faith.

If we are to create Zion in any form whatsoever – metaphorical, physical, metaphysical – we must have faith. We must trust…that this, this manifestation of Zion, is God’s will. And if we are allowing ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit – by the mind of God – it is our will also.

So, one of the prophecies concerning Zion is that Christ would dwell among them. What kind of society, what kind of complex of relationships must exist if Christ would dwell within it?

When Jesus walked the earth, His divine heart, His divine will, was subjected to…Zion? No, He was subjected to a massive complex of relationships built upon fear, judgment, guilt, control, hierarchy, and inequality – upon separation. And it killed Him – at least it killed His earthly body. Is it in any way reasonable to expect Him to willingly return to such a society – a society that continues to be steeped in…wait for it…fear, judgment, guilt, control, hierarchy, and inequality?

For thousands of years, people have yearned for this Zion. Countless revelations have been received and shared, and then recorded and revered as prophesy. Yet we still await. And we cling to our traditions. And we continue to think that thousands of years of thinking the same way, acting the same way, is somehow going to yield Zion.

Supposedly the city of Enoch experienced this Zion state of existence, and it was “taken”. It transcended the bonds of time and space and became extra-dimensional somehow.

So, what kind of relationships would need to exist in order for us to have a society in which Jesus the Christ would feel welcome, and to which this earlier Zion society would return in unity and oneness? What might we need to learn to believe, think, and act differently if we are to bring about a manifestation of this Zion state of existence.

Perhaps we would need to learn to recognize that the personas (egos) that we present to each other on a daily basis are actually not real, that they are born out of fear (a lack of faith in love – and in each other), and that they represent a need for healing.

Perhaps we would need to learn that each of us is unconditionally loved of God; that this love cannot be earned; that there is no worthiness test, and absolutely no worthiness hierarchy; even that each of us is perfect and sincere in our desire to be one…with God, creation, and each other, no matter what our egos might be screaming to the contrary.

Perhaps we would need to learn to scrap the idea that we are in any way victims…of God, of nature, of each other.  Rather, that harmony and peace in all things is indeed our default; and if that does not exist, then we are, once again, in need of healing, and to especially have the faith that this healing is possible. Offense, or attack of any sort is not of God, but the extension of such offense, as well as the receipt of such offense, is an illusion of the ego.


Perhaps we would need to learn to celebrate the innate goodness and perfection in all of God’s creation – in nature, in ourselves, and in each other, and focus on that goodness, rather than focusing constantly on what we need to improve, on what we are not, on how we compare to others, or even to God.

Perhaps we would need to learn that the past is past, and can not be changed; that the future is only speculation and is no more real than the past; and that only by cherishing the now can we become co-creators…co-creators of Zion…with God.

Perhaps we would need to learn to recognize that judgment, guilt, control, hierarchy, and inequality…separation… are all man-made principles, born of fear and meaningless in the eternities and to God; that only love has meaning, only love is eternal, only love is infinite.

I don’t know how Zion will manifest, but I believe it will. I believe it is at minimum a metaphor for the perfection of creation, very similar to the tree of life. I believe the spirit of Zion is worth pursuing regardless of how it manifests, because it is good, and because the very idea brings me joy and fulfillment. It makes me feel whole. Actually it helps me recognize that wholeness, that perfection, that is already in me…that already is my I AM, my eternal inheritance, endowed upon each of us as part of our creation.

But Zion will never happen if we continue to believe, think, and act in the same way we have for thousands of years. Zion represents an ascended state – one that, when fully realized – results in it being “taken”. Realizing Zion is a process. I say “realizing” because Zion already exists. It is the essence of divine creation. But in order for it to be realized, to be manifested, we must receive it, and that reception can only happen within the individual heart and mind as it submits itself to the will of God – which will is simply that we “love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another”.

2 Comments

Chakras; Receiving God’s Unconditional Love or…”Let that River Flow”

God is love. Love is God.

Whatever box or graven image we might create for God; whatever name or visualization we might have given Him in our sincere attempts to comprehend Him, God is bigger than that. He is more kind, more compassionate, more patient, more full, complete, perfect…than that.

God’s love is unconditional.

It is the very definition of His “I AM”. I guess one could say, “God is unconditional”. There is no God that is not love. Love is His fullness, His completeness, His perfection. God’s love is not dished out based upon covenants, or conditions, or laws, or judgments. It simply is. Full, all encompassing, expansive…it is everywhere. It is light, it is creation, it is all things – in all things, of all things, through all things. You cannot escape God’s love, for it is everywhere. It is everything. Any covenants, conditions, laws, or judgments that men might take unto themselves do not meter God’s love, but only our reception of God’s love.

Yes, God’s love, God Himself, for that matter, is given freely, but what good is a gift that is given if it is not received? We must receive God’s love. Otherwise, we just become a roadblock to the ongoing act of creation. We become a dam, so to speak. God’s love, like light, must flow, it must move, it must vibrate. When light, or love, stops flowing, stops moving, stops vibrating, it is no longer light. It is darkness.

The idea of Chakras helps to illustrate this concept. I hope that, in my simplistic understanding of this concept, I can explain it in a way that is simple (and decidedly not comprehensive) yet clear – in order to make my point.

Chakras are energy centers within the body. Energy, or light, or love, flows through them, entering the mind/body/spirit complex at the feet, and flowing through the body, continuing its flow through to the head – connecting with Heaven, the Heavens, the Holy Spirit, the Source, whatever you wish to call it. This flow, if unimpeded, manifests, or completes our oneness with God. When the Chakras flow freely, we are in tune, in harmony with God, with the universe…with His will and divine plan. We are a conduit for the love and light of God. We cannot stop the love of God from entering our body (God’s love is unconditional), but we can stop its flow, and thus break up the harmony, the completeness, the oneness. By damning the flow, we create separation, for our connection is no longer complete, no longer moving. God has died within us.

As God’s love and light enters each Chakra, it can be blocked by our fear. Our fear is manifest in our thoughts, feelings, jealousies, or our controlling and self-indulgent desires. In other words, by our “sin”; sin being anything that is done without love, or anything that separates us from God. Love, or light, or energy that enters, but does not pass freely, ceases to flow, and becomes darkness. But really, this light only needs to get past the first three Chakras. Once it enters the 4th, it can flow freely based on our understanding, comprehension, and desires. Our fears stop the flow. Our righteous desires perpetuate it.

I find it illustrative to call these first three Chakras the “Chakras of sin” because they are the Chakras that can block love. They are the domain of the ego…the natural man. These “sin chakras” are:

  • Red, or Root Chakra. This is the Chakra associated with survival, including procreation and sex. When one is consumed with fear for their survival – what they will eat, or drink, or wear, where they will shelter – or when one is consumed with the unfulfilled desire for sex – we create a blockage in the red Chakra. Love and light cannot flow freely. Jesus addressed blockages in this Chakra in the Sermon on the Mount when He spoke of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, and when He spoke of adultery.
  • Orange, or Sacral, Chakra – the chakra of personal relationships. When one carries enmity, or judgment, or contention, or the desire to control others in their interpersonal relationships, they create a blockage in this Chakra. The 4 C’s coined in previous posts (comparison, competition, contention, and control) are active in this chakra. Love and Light cannot flow further. God’s love is not fully received. Jesus spoke of this Chakra when He encouraged us to turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, remove the beam from our own eye, do unto others, and reconcile with your neighbor before making offerings at the altar.
  • Yellow, or Solar Plexus Chakra – this Chakra has to do with social relationships and our place in society. When one sustains fear of society, or racism, or prejudices based on race, religion, creed, nationality, political persuasion, etc…not of individuals, but of groups of people, one creates a blockage in this chakra. When one is consumed with achievement, power, accomplishment, riches, etc., one create a blockage in this chakra. Love and Light can flow no further. Jesus clearly spoke of this in the parable of the good Samaritan, and when he told the young rich man to sell everything he had.

Exercising control, compulsion, or dominion over others, in any degree of unrighteousness, in any of these areas, is sin, and it always results in blockage, preventing the love of God from flowing, thus severing our connection with the Heavens, and perpetuating separation from God.

Learning to keep these three chakras clear, so that God’s love and light can flow freely into the green, or heart, or love chakra, is what it means to love oneself. I wrote of this particularly in my last post, “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself”. To love ourselves, and to maintain ourselves open to receiving God’s love is a mighty undertaking. It requires great faith, even knowledge. Jesus spoke of this when He said, metaphorically, that we must abandon our mother and father and follow Him. We must abandon “the world” if we are to follow Him on the strait and narrow way…if we are to love God, our neighbor, and ourselves.

Not loving ourselves, or failing to recognize the blockages in these “sin chakras”, is to live without love, and is damnation. Such is the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It is what is meant by “the natural man is an enemy to God” – simply because it stops the flow of God’s love, and thus God Himself, through us. In other words, God cannot live in us. We remain separated from God, because, rather than allowing His love and light to flow through us, we reject it, and we dwell in darkness. I am struck at this moment that this is the symbolism behind being baptized in “living water”; the living water representing the free flow of God’s love.

Loving ourselves, not with vanity, but with peace, is salvation. Jesus taught repeatedly of this strait and narrow way in which we maintain a path for God’s love and light to flow through us, creating a conduit that it might shine – the parabolic “city on the hill”. Again, He spoke in the Sermon on the Mount of not hiding our light under a bushel.

Briefly, the other 4 Chakras are:

  • Green, or heart, chakra – the love chakra; viewing all creation in the context of love.
  • Blue, or throat chakra – the chakra of sincere, honest, loving communication with God, with others, and with ourselves.
  • Indigo, or third eye chakra – the chakra of imagination – of creativity.
  • Violet, or crown chakra – the chakra of spirituality, or connection with God.

Once the love of God has reached the heart chakra, the flow is clear; it invites and follows our growth – the nurturing of the “peace that passeth understanding”. Each of the higher chakras represents a manifestation of love. Perhaps I should call them the “chakras of love”, in contrast to the “chakras of sin”.

A student of the chakras will most certainly detect errors and inaccuracies in these descriptions. That’s ok – because my purpose is only to illustrate that the conditions placed on God’s love are not placed there by God, but by us.

  • God’s love is given freely and unconditionally, but…
  • We must receive God’s love.
  • In order to receive God’s love, we must learn to love ourselves; to maintain a free, unblocked flow through the body/mind/spirit of our mortal existence
  • Living in sin, or failing to recognize the strait and narrow way for God’s love and light to flow through us, that we might in turn love our neighbor, is to our own damnation. This is not eternal damnation, or damnation imposed as a judgment or punishment, but it is a temporary condition of darkness, which we ourselves tolerate, until our dissatisfaction ripens (we ripen in sin?), and we begin to seek to learn to love ourselves. God’s love is constantly knocking at the door, but we must open the way. We must seek, ask, and knock.
  • Salvation is to learn to open the path for God’s love to flow, that we no longer dwell in darkness, but choose to fully connect with the Kingdom of Heaven, the key to which is within each of us.

Ah, the metaphors that are at play here! Be it the lilies of the field, turning the other cheek, the good Samaritan, the strait and narrow way, or the chakra system, they all speak of the unconditional love of God, given freely to all, and of the need for it to flow, undamned, through us – watering the desert of our mortal existence, that it might blossom like a rose. Furthermore, it is clear to me that our goal, our purpose – even the will of God – is to receive that love, and to become one with God and with each other by learning to be a hospitable home, a conduit, an active, fertile manifestation for God’s love – given freely, equally, without judgment…to all.

Now – an original song that ties it all together…Let That River Flow

2 Comments

Love thy Neighbor as Thyself

…And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Matthew 22:39

We are immersed in a world of fear, doubt, inadequacy. I don’t know a single person who isn’t constantly questioning themselves. “Am I good enough? Am I worthy? Do I do enough? Am I as good as so and so? Why do they seem so wonderful while I struggle?”

These are the thoughts of the ego, or the natural man…the proverbial chains that bind us. Comparing ourselves to others, or to some standard – whether real or imaginary – insures that we look at ourselves as separate, and not one…separate not only from each other, but also from God. This separation from God is the seed of what is commonly called hell. Fully indulged, it will become the metaphorical lake of fire and brimstone.

These thoughts are not:

  • The peace that passeth understanding
  • The Kingdom of Heaven
  • What it means to…love thyself

Have you ever stopped to think about what it takes to love yourself?

  • It takes faith, even confidence, that “God don’t create no junk”
  • It takes great faith in the essential goodness, righteousness, love, and light of this creation of which you are a part.
  • It requires letting go of the whole comparison mindset, which implies trust in the fact that you are simply good, just as you are, that you are your own I AM.
  • One must learn to reconcile the ever present, often consuming desire to “become better”, with being content and at peace with one’s current state of knowledge, enlightenment, understanding…one’s current state of being or perception.
  • It requires essential optimism and hope. Learning to love oneself also tends to perpetuate even greater optimism and hope.
  • Loving yourself requires recognizing and gradually rejecting fear in all of its insidious and pernicious manifestations – which manifestations always begin as thoughts.

Above all, it takes trust:

  • Trust in yourself
  • Trust in your core beliefs and values – even in light of the fact they are, at best, incomplete.
  • Trust that purity is possible, and not unachievable, as we have each been told all our lives.
  • Trust that your current imperfection is, paradoxically, part of that very purity or perfection.

Yet, all of this is leading up to a sort of trump card, an overriding principle that has been revealed to me over the past year or so. I describe this as “revelation” not to lend it weight or imply any authority, but more as a description of the process, or the method by which I came to believe in this principle. If I may describe:

As the frequency, consistency, and intimacy of my interaction with Jesus has evolved, it has been made increasingly clear that about the only thing I can do to be worthy of such interaction is to believe.

  • There is no worthiness test. I am already good enough, I just need to believe it.
  • All that is required is sincerity, honesty, and trust
  • Thoughts that promote separation (see above) dramatically interfere with such interactions, but that’s totally on me. Jesus’ love, and the grace that He extends, is infinite and unconditional. Yet, if I wish to abide intimately with Him, I must learn to reject these thoughts and beliefs.
  • Jesus is not interacting with my ego…not with the natural man, with its fear and selfishness, but with the true, divine spark that is the essence of the created me.

Thus, in order for this interaction, this communion, meditation, prayer, to be a two-way communication, I must be that pure, perfect, child-like person that He knows for that time each day – trusting, believing, seeking…honest, truthful, sincere…confident, humble, at peace. His invitation is to ascend. Now, if I’m not mistaken, I just repeated, in slightly different language, the conditions described above that lead one to “love thyself”

So, for 30 to 60 minutes each day, I have been invited to “practice” interacting with this ascended being, the only requirement of which is that I learn to leave my fallen, fear-driven thoughts behind, and engage in interactions of ascendant love. It often takes 15-20 minutes to “ascend”, to lose myself in the peace and love that Jesus offers. That is His state of existence, or at least a compromise state – a middle ground. For 30-60 minutes each day, I accept His invitation to “Come unto Me”.

This communion has become a greatly cherished part of my life. It is so peaceful, so reassuring, so filled with calm, real, but never overwhelming love. This “practice” naturally manifests itself in my thoughts throughout the rest of my day, and influences even my more “worldly” interactions.

Now, the point of my revealing this to you is this – Jesus extends grace to me. He has the desire, the willingness, and especially the ability, to love me for who I am now. By accepting that grace (and not rejecting it by indulging in, even thriving on, fear-driven thoughts of guilt, judgment, unworthiness, etc), I learn to love myself – the self that He loves – even as He loves me. And I am learning to reciprocate by extending grace not only to Him but to myself. In other words, I seek to cultivate the desire, the willingness, and the ability (overcoming the natural man) to love myself as I am…now.

Now, if this is how I love myself, the next step is to love my neighbor as myself:

  • To see them for their true selves, not as their fallen selves.
  • To be sympathetic or empathetic to their struggles, and to invite them, through my own actions, to ascend beyond.
  • To eschew judgment, or the assignment of guilt, as a result of their struggles, which are no different than my own.
  • To establish that forgiveness is not needed, because there is no offense to forgive…that my love is unconditional – a product of my I AM interacting with their I AM.
  • To interact with them in the same way that Jesus interacts with us
  • To extend to them the same Grace that Jesus has extended to us – not out of mercy, or forgiveness, but out of love, simply because that is His nature.

I must first learn to love myself by receiving the grace offered, and then extend that same grace to my neighbor. In doing so, I learn to keep what Jesus declared to be the second greatest commandment, which is like unto the first, and on which hang all the laws and the prophets.

Something tells me that if I can do this; if I can learn to reject the invasive, fallen, even unnatural, thoughts of guilt, judgment, fear, comparison, and jealousy concerning myself, and then extend that same grace to my neighbor, not out of mercy, or forgiveness, but because that has become my nature, all else will fall into place.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed so simple.

3 Comments

Unconditional Love

I suppose everyone on this planet asks themselves, with varying degrees of intensity, commitment, and integrity, the question “what is love?”

It occurs to me that it is presumptuous to even attempt to answer such a question. Any such attempt is doomed to being incomplete, if it’s not just spitting into the wind. Nevertheless, I will take yet another shot at it, having done so before in February of 2019.

Love is, among other things, a state of mind, even a state of existence. Call it love, agape, charity, or the pure love of Christ, it is the state of mind where one extends the assumption of virtue, honesty, divinity, kindness, compassion, empathy, sympathy, grace, good intent, peace, generosity, even perfection to all individuals, all beings…to all creation. Love assumes that all beings are doing all they can to “fulfill the measure of their creation”, and that the measure of that creation is pure, perfect, and filled with light. Even if that person thinks themselves to be lost, struggling, or imperfect, we love the perfection that lies within; the perfection that is the true self, the divine self.

I must first love myself in this way, and then I can love others in the same way. I cannot love others, including God, without first loving myself.

Such a state of mind can be, most certainly will be, manifested by actions that are often referred to as “love, the action word”, but as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13 of the bible, such actions not derived from the state of mind, from “charity” are as tinkling brass and a sounding cymbal.

Oh, and love is unconditional. Love that is not unconditional is not love. It is something else, but it is not love. A contract perhaps. “As long as you please me, I will love you.” I cannot love only certain aspects of a person, or certain behaviors. I must accept the whole package – perceive and receive the whole package with grace– or it is not love.

And there is only one covenant between God and man. Guess what that is. Yep – I will always love you. Unconditionally. No ifs, ands, or buts. It’s not “I’ll love you if you love me, or if you act in a certain way”. It’s “I will love you always, completely, unconditionally”. Any other covenant is a substitute for the real thing, a pointer, an ordinance, a stop gap measure until the real thing is realized and received.

Today I realized something new. I cannot love someone completely without loving everyone and everything that they love.

I cannot fully love my wife without loving her children. I cannot fully love my children or my friendswithout loving their spouses, their children, their friends.

I cannot love Jesus without loving all that Jesus loves. Last I checked, it is commonly believed that Jesus the Christ loves everyone, so that’s a pretty sweeping, iron-clad concept.

And I cannot love God without loving all of creation.

Think about that. If I love someone else, and all that they love, and if they extend that completeness throughout their own web of relationships, what do we end up with? We have a complete, perfect, unbroken oneness of love – the kind of oneness of which Jesus spoke in John 17 of the bible. Such is the Kingdom of Heaven – which Jesus said “is within you”. This is the concept of Zion, the New Jerusalem, the New Earth.

And what prevents us from living this state of existence, this state of love? Fear and all of its derivatives. These include jealousy, judgment, guilt, contention, control, the need to be “right”. I’m sure you can think if many more. Pretty much anything that prompts me to not love another person and that they love – unconditionally – is the result of some sort of fear.

Learning to recognize these things in ourselves, and to let go of them, is the ultimate in repentance. Like the substitute covenants, there is value in substitute repentance, but eventually, if we desire the Kingdom of Heaven, we must recognize the things that stand in the way, and slowly, gradually…peacefully and without guilt or condemnation…begin to weed them out and reject them.

This is the message of the gospel – even of all true religion – not just Christianity – before it becomes polluted by our fears, jealousies, judgment, etc. This is the ministry of Jesus. This is what it means to believe in Christ – to take upon ourselves the name of Christ. This is the name of Christ, the nature of Christ.

To love unconditionally, completely, in an extended web of grace, is the universal religion.

Leave a comment

Conversations with God # 18 – A Warm Hug

I offer the following as a revelation. Nothing about it is binding in any way. It is offered, with pretense, by invitation only. As with much revelation, it represents an outpouring, a condensation within a brief time, of much teaching and learning and processing over days, months, years, perhaps even lifetimes. It is absolutely filtered through my mind, and I make no claim otherwise. The only purity is in its message. For me, the message is from Jesus – a warm hug from beyond the veil. It is not a substitute for your own message from Jesus. Nothing can replace that.

*****************
Scott,

You are surrounded by vehicles of fear. So much “Lo here! Lo there! We have the truth!” The chaos of lies. Embrace it. Embrace it all. It’s ok. Embrace it that you might understand, but it is not you. Do not make it part of you. This is all truth in that it exists in the minds of the people of the world, transmitted by media. It is real, and it just is, and it’s ok. But it is not you.

The underlying truth, the eternal reality, is goodness. You have begun to comprehend this goodness, but only barely. This truth, this goodness, this love is greater than you can even imagine at this time in your existence. It is the source of everything. You rightly call it love. Many have known this, but few are able to overcome their own fear – fear of death, fear of pain, fear of failure, fear of not knowing – enough to truly believe. It is this belief that I refer to when I say, “believe in me”. It is this truth that is the good news of the gospel. This goodness, this love, is the only eternal reality. All else actually is vanity – created by the mind in order to sustain the individual ego – the natural man, which can only survive when validated by fear of its own creation. This reality is fleeting and has no power to either sustain or to destroy.

I taught of this truth during my time on Earth. “Consider the Lilies”. “My peace I give unto you…” “Fear not, for I have overcome the world”. So many have twisted my words to focus on me! But it is not about me, it is about the truth; it is about the eternal message.. It is this truth that shall set all men free. It is this truth that is the nature of the Father, of God. It is this knowledge that is the knowledge unto salvation…salvation from fear, salvation from contention, salvation from this false man-made image of reality, of me, of the Father.

Oh, Scott, I yearn for your sprouting comprehension of this truth to flower! You are on the cusp of that comprehension. Untold joy awaits you just beyond your reach, but you know! Deep inside, you know! And you long to share as I did. Not to glorify either me or yourself, but you long to share the hope, the peace, the fulfillment that comes with this knowledge, that others may find it for themselves. This was my hope, also, when I walked the earth. As you learn to plow through the layers of illusion, of ego, of the natural man – as you learn to reject thoughts of fear, of jealousy, of comparison, of control, and recognize all around you in the pure beauty of its perfect creation, you will release this knowledge that lies within and all around. I’m so excited for you!

So, my son, I have told you things before, and you have not forgotten them, but I repeat them now – as they will have even greater meaning as your context changes, and as your perspective grows. Therefore I repeat:

Trust me. Relax.

I am the purity that you seek.

To which I add…

Believe this! I love you!

Jesus

%d bloggers like this: