Earth As Witness

earthwitnessmudra

by Matthias Indra

After many years of seeking the answer to the end of suffering but remaining unfulfilled Siddhartha sat in meditation beneath a Bodhi tree with the intent of remaining there until he found his answer. In much the same way as Jesus was tempted in his desert experience so was Siddhartha tempted by the demon lord Mara. After unsuccessfully tempting Siddhartha Mara finally said that he, Mara, rather than a human should be the one sitting under the tree. He backed up his claim by pointing to his attendant legion of demons and said that they would bear witness in support of this claim and asked Siddhartha who would bear witness for him. Mara figured he had played his trump card since there was no one present to witness for Siddhartha.

Siddhartha reached down with his right hand and touched the ground and called upon the earth itself to bear witness. In an instant, Siddhartha received enlightenment and was freed from the “endless cycle of suffering and rebirth.”

Most of us are familiar with this story but bear with me as I shift gears.

A crystal set radio is a radio that does not require any batteries or conventional electrical source to work. It only needs to have a long wire stretched horizontally, one end of which is fed into the radio circuit. The wire is energized electrically by the very carrier wave signal that is transmitted from a radio tower. If all the very simple electronic pieces are in place the radio is ready to tune into a particular station and listening enjoyment begins.

But wait a minute, we have the long antenna wire connected to our radio circuit and all the electronic components are properly installed and we can, with the proper equipment, test and see that there is electricity present in the radio, but there is no sound! What gives!

The one piece we forgot was to attach the radio circuit to a metal rod stuck in the dirt. This establishes a pathway for the electricity to follow, a path of completion. All the power in the world is useless, even if it is connected to the most advanced machine, if there isn’t a path to ground. Only then does electricity flow. Electricity that doesn’t flow is measured as voltage. Electricity that moves, that does flow, is called ‘current’ and is measured in amperes. It is the difference of having water in a garden hose and water running through a hose when you open the nozzle on the end. It is the difference between potential and kinetic energy.

crystal-set-radioWhen we meditate we develop a contact with Presence. This is a transcendent experience as we transcend the limitations associated with identifying as a separate body on a planet inhabited by many separate bodies. We get a sense of our potential apart from our physical-ness. We find a growing awareness of life as a continuum that flows from form to form, lifetime to lifetime. And we are fed and nurtured by this experience of transcendence.

But we often find that the experience just doesn’t stick! Some time after we stop our meditation we are once again beset by all the necessities of daily life and we lose our awareness of Presence. We become a body once more, a body that is growing older and that will “die.” This backsliding into corporal consciousness and the illusion of separation has caused much distress to seekers from the beginning of time! How do we have transcendent experiences of Self that stick with us?

The answer, of course, is to “touch ground,” to call on “earth as witness,” or to attach our antenna and radio circuit to the grounding rod. We do this by fully inhabiting our bodies and (this is where it gets real) our finite, flawed, psychologically damaged, egocentric selves into the transcendent experience. Many seekers try to leap-frog over their problematic selves, the selves that they wish would go away or at least would behave better. This leap-frogging is the opposite of grounding and prevents the fullness of the transcendent experience of all that is Potential to become Kinetic or in other words become part of our everyday experience.

This Aquarian Age is the age of ‘Christ Consciousness in Form.’ It is no longer enough to have two selves, a spiritual and physical self. It is no longer enough for us to be “carnally minded” and “spiritually minded.” This has nothing to do with morals as such. It has everything to do with so fully inhabiting and owning our complete expressions as souls incarnate, warts and all, that that which had been separate is fused together as a new body and a new mind. That there is a New Heaven and New Earth.

This business of connecting with our finite bodies and minds and fully owning and inhabiting them as we discover our transcendent Selves is what the Crucifixion is all about. It is the “affixing of Spirit to the Cross of Matter” and is the central message of Esoteric/Mystical Christianity.

May we all be blessed in our journey toward the One.

In Christ ~ Matthias

 

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Be Still and Know that I Am God

still-water

by Michael Maciel

Meditation is, on one end, sitting quietly without moving, and, on the other end, being in a state of oneness with God. Your experience of it will lie somewhere on that spectrum. One thing is for sure, however – the longer you do the former, the better chances you will have at doing the latter.

The formula for stillness is simple. Like a pond at midnight, you are so motionless that even the bugs racing across your surface barely cause a ripple. Your mind becomes a single retina, registering – everything. But it’s a different kind of everything, not the kind that a camera sees (or a mirror), but the kind that deep-space telescopes pick up, or super-sensitive seismographs. Because the stillness of meditation is so deep that the normal sights and sounds of this world are just another form of static – like thoughts, their forms are endless.

The stillness of meditation sinks below the world of sights and sounds. Below the world of thoughts. To a place that precedes them. To the moment before motion begins. Between the heartbeats. Between the thoughts. The Interim of all “things.” It precedes even the will to speak. It is the via negativa of being, the neti, neti (not this, not that) of awareness. It is the borderland of existence, the brink of the abyss. It is what your face looked like before you were born.

The mind cannot go there. It is deeper than the mind. How, then, can one see if one has no eyes? How can one hear if one has no ears? How can one ask a question that has no answer? This is the the stillness of meditation, the gateway to the ineffable.

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Priest Class

laying-on-of-hands

If you are a priest or are interested in becoming one, or, if you have read “World Priest” and would like to learn more about Priestcraft, I invite you to participate in “Priest Class,” a Facebook group where we delve further into the esoteric aspects of the Priesthood. Just message me, Michael Maciel, and I’ll sign you up.

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Are You Enlightened?

skylight

by Michael Maciel

Enlightenment must not be “me-centered.” It cannot be a commodity, as though it were the next thing to get in a long line of getting.

The world will not remember you for what you know, but for what you have contributed to the world. Is the world a better place because you are in it? Some people affect the world on a wide scale; others affect it through the work of their hands. Some have a profound influence on one or two people; others change the lives of millions.

But the keyword is “affect.” Simply garnering the adulation of millions is not really affecting the world. Instead, it is more of a distraction. It can actually delay a person’s progress, because while they are busy adulating you, they are doing nothing to make the world a better place.

Which are you? Are you out to get something, or are you out to give something? Do you see enlightenment as your personal crown of glory, the final and definitive proof of how important you are, or do you see it as a means by which you can do what you do better?

The Japanese are widely regarded as the best woodworkers in the world, followed closely by the Germans, but even the Japanese revere the American Shaker’s furniture making, cabinetry, and architectural skills. The Shaker craftsmen’s motto was “Hands to work, hearts to God.” Their craft was a living prayer, and the products of their hands are the embodiment of Spirit.

We don’t have to physically make things in order to bring Spirit into manifestation, but we do have to manifest Spirit in our lives if we are to think of ourselves as enlightened. A light bulb is not a light bulb until it glows. Otherwise, it’s just metal and glass. A chair is just pieces of wood stuck together until someone sits on it.

What are you?

In what ways do you facilitate the manifestation of Spirit in the world? In what ways do you allow God to USE you to bring Heaven to Earth? What were you born to do? What lights you up? What is your bliss that Joseph Campbell advised us all to follow? If you “get” anything in this life, get the answer to these questions. If you need to, sell everything you own and buy this pearl, the Pearl of Great Price.

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4 Reasons (and their methods) to Meditate

meditating Jesus

by Michael Maciel

There are many reasons to meditate, and each reason has its own method. One reason for meditating is quieting the mind, and its method is to focus on your breathing. Another reason is to obtain knowledge, and its method is to ask a question and then form a vacuum around it, drawing the answer to you from the universal creative intelligence. Another reason is to effect a healing, and its method is visualization, learning how to control the brightness setting on your inner screen. And yet another reason is peace of mind, or escaping the whirlpool of negative thoughts and emotions about yourself, and its method is the equilibration of the heart.
Quieting the mind is easy, much easier than you would think. It’s simply a matter of where you place your attention, because a noisy mind is a mind focused on itself. Just as loud music from your neighbor’s apartment can slowly but surely drive you crazy, your own thoughts, when they become the center of your attention, just keep getting louder and louder. The method is simple: become kinesthetically aware of your breathing. The kinesthetic part is important, because you want to FEEL it, not just have ideas about it, and you want to feel it in a location distant from your hAbs-breathead. The best place is in your belly. Belly breathing is diaphragmatic breathing; your belly extends when you inhale and sucks in when you exhale. No special effort is needed. You don’t have to count your breaths or hold them or anything like that. You simply have to place your attention there and return to it to your belly any time it wanders. It takes a little practice, but the benefits are immediate. Your mental chatter stops as though flipping a switch.

oscilloscopeObtaining knowledge is a little more difficult and requires more discipline. But it, too, is relatively easy, once you get the hang of it. The first thing you have to realize is that the brain does not store knowledge. The brain is a tuning device, not a hard drive. There is only one brain, and it’s called “The Universe.” We live in it. The brain in our head is a fractal representation of this larger brain. Any knowledge that exists in this universal brain can be downloaded simply by increasing the negative gain in your awareness while at the same time standing silently in the middle of your question. “Negative gain” is an electronics term. On an oscilloscope, it’s the part of the wave that extends below the line – the negative or drawing potential. You effect this by asking your question as clearly as possible and then emptying your mind of its contents. You don’t go to sleep but rather focus your attention without forcing it. You turn up your expectation while at the same time relinquishing your control. It’s a bit like downloading information onto your computer from the Internet, only the Internet, in this case, is The Universe. Thoreau said it best: “To be awake is to be alive … We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.” What you seek will surely, as day follows night, rise up over the horizon of your awareness.

jewel-in-the-lotusPlease understand that when I say that The Universe is a brain, I’m not talking about Stephen Hawking’s version of the cosmos—huge chunks of rock and ice punctuated by fiery furnaces and weird black holes. The Universe is made of light, not stardust, and that light is intelligent. It is made of information, not particles (or waves), and the information is not limited by space and time; it is immediately available no matter where or when you are. And the human brain is the most sophisticated instrument we have to access it with.

Healing, another reason for meditating, is also a matter of downloading. In this case, we’re downloading the original program for the human body. We’re defragging the disk, so to speak, and restoring the operating system to its default settings. The body is more of a stream of information than it is a device; it’s a happening, not an object. As with any stream, obstacles can disrupt the flow, and the obstacles that comprise diseases are more often false ideas and beliefs than they are external substances. Tapping into the the original program will clear out these false ideas and beliefs along with the gunk that has formed around them in the tissues of the body. The foreign material will literally radiate out, which oftentimes produces awful smells.

The beauty of this kind of healing meditation is that we don’t have to know what the original program is. We only have to know that it exists. Just as we use meditation to obtain information from the universal creative intelligence, we access the program in exactly the same way, only the information in this case is the program itself. It’s not enough to simply visualize perfect health; we must also tap into the universal creative intelligence. Our visualizations are only an invitation—they do not, of themselves, have any power. It’s God that does the healing, not us.

inner lightHealing takes power. And power only moves through a clean channel. We are the channel, and God is the power. This is why there is so much emphasis in the spiritual teachings on “emptiness”—as long as our mind is cluttered with its own contents, very little power will flow. Learning to quiet the mind, then, is the prerequisite to all other forms of meditation, because a quiet mind is a clean channel. The size of the channel is directly proportional to how awake you are; the more awake the channel, the more power can flow through it. That’s the formula: quiet + awake + access to the universal creative intelligence = power to heal. You will know when you’ve made the connection, because your internal brightness turns way up.

Don’t worry, by the way, if you don’t see light. You can also feel it. It can feel like an internal expansion, as though the atoms and molecules in your body are becoming less dense. You might feel more transparent, even physically lighter in weight. The world, both in your mind and the world you see with your eyes, can look different—more alive, more present, more real. These are all functions of light.

arya 2The final form of meditation, at least in this presentation, is the method for obtaining peace of mind. We do this by equilibrating the heart. In the ancient Egyptian Mysteries, the gods would place a person’s heart, at the time of his or her death, on a scales along with a feather. If the heart was heavier than the feather, the soul had to return to Earth for more development. This was all very symbolic, of course. Anything that causes us to have a “heavy heart,” therefore, must be resolved before we can attain spiritual freedom. In A Game of Thrones, there is a mystery school called The House of Black and White. Students have to empty themselves of all self-identity—they become nameless. When asked, “Who are you?” they reply, “A girl has no name.” The test for whether they have done this is in their ability to take on different faces, to assume different personas as needed. Having no fixed identity, they can be all things to all people. The metaphor is simple: in order to be fully present to the world, we must face it head-on. We cannot live in the past and expect to be in the here and now. Our identity is, by default, our past. Lose your past and you become nameless.

Only when we are fully present to life can we be fully alive. The less identity we have (the less past), the more alive we can become. When we are completely devoid of identity, we become a clean channel for the power of God to be active in the world. But it is our activity itself that is the channel. As we move, God moves; as we live, God lives; as we speak, God speaks. And it is through our speaking that creation comes into being. But it is not “us” who speaks. And yet, without us, nothing can be spoken – quiet + awake + access to the universal creative intelligence = power to speak creation into being. That’s the formula.

weighing-of-the-heart

Equilibrating the heart requires confession. We cannot rise up spiritually with anything more than a carry-on. No checked baggage is allowed. And what is confession, really? It is revealing that which is concealed. And it’s not so much what we are concealing from others as it is the things we are concealing from ourselves. This is the cause of all suffering—ignorance of what we are hiding from ourselves. The crucial thing to realize is that we can’t do the unconcealing without help. We can either turn to others or we can ask God, the universal creative intelligence (maybe I should create an acronym for that: UCI – “You see I”). The UCI won’t necessarily speak to you personally from On High. As a friend of mine recently said, “If you pray for strength, it won’t come in a box on your doorstep. It will come as opportunities to be strong.” So it is with looking for your blindspots. You can’t get that from Amazon.

If you stand in the question of what you don’t know that you don’t know about yourself, you better get ready for tears—“Blessed are they who mourn” and all that. Equilibrating the heart isn’t for cowards. No one will come up to you and say, “Hey, listen. There are some things about you that I think you should know.” That’s not going to happen. Instead, they will mirror them back to you in ways that will make you think that it’s their problem, not yours. This is what makes life so…………interesting. So, be on the lookout, because no sooner will you do this than people will start showing you what you’re not seeing—as in immediately.

It’s not the stuff that you’re aware of that destroys your peace of mind. Everyone pretty much knows what their bad habits are. It’s the stuff that you’re not aware of that haunts you, that speaks to you from the shadows, that makes you do things seemingly against your own will. These are the things that keep you up at night, wearing away at you like grist in a mill. That’s what you need to know if you are going to achieve a realistic level of peace of mind. And it’s going to take work. Don’t worry about hitting rock bottom; it’s the most solid place you can stand. There’s a certain look to people who have been there—their skin is different, smoother, more relaxed, less prone to giddiness, eyes that can actually see you, and a brow that’s unaffected by external circumstances. You can spot them a mile away.

So, these are four reasons to meditate, along with their respective methods. And, you may have noticed that I’ve listed them in an ascending order of degree of difficulty. But don’t let that worry you. Once you master the first one—shifting your awareness away from your thoughts and onto your breathing—the rest will come much easier. A quiet mind is a powerful mind. You will be surprised how much more you can understand when your brain is freed up to function in concert with its progenitor, the UCI. Let IT show you what you need to know. It is the true source of all knowledge—the real kind, not the stuff we love to make up.

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Becoming Stillness—Richard Rohr

rohr

 

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Is Balance Always a Good Thing?

swingby Michael Maciel

Sometimes, we get out of balance in order to achieve a greater balance. And sometimes we sacrifice balance by reaching past our limits to achieve a larger goal. If balance is being centered, then imbalance is a stretch, a risk—we extend ourselves beyond the comfort zone of being centered so that we might reach a higher center.

There are many ways to induce an artificial imbalance. For instance, fasting—no one would call fasting balanced. It is extreme. The body needs to eat and we prevent it from eating. Doesn’t sound very balanced to me. But by forcing one end of the scales, we cause the buildup of potential energy, energy that can then be used for other purposes.

Hydroelectric dams are like that. Would you call them balanced? All that water built up behind a massive wall. And yet one such dam can power an entire city. Or what about a gymnast clutching a high bar? Is flinging himself round and round the bar balanced? If he were to let go at the wrong time, he would fly off into the air. But he harnesses the imbalance, and it enables him to do amazing feats.

Vacuums are another form of imbalance. Prayer is the art of creating a vacuum. It is stretching the gap between reality and its potential. When the tension of the gap becomes too great, one will be realized and the other will be altered.

Here’s the point:

If you are always seeking balance, you cannot be creative. God creates. That’s why there is so much imbalance in the world. Out of imbalance much can be created, and he or she who masters imbalance is the most creative of all.

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“God is all-powerful” – and other nonsensical truisms

all-powerfulby Michael Maciel

You’ve heard the complaint before – “If God is all-powerful, then why did he allow this terrible thing to happen?” It’s a reasonable question, especially since the Bible is full of stories of God rushing in to save the Israelites from certain destruction. If God did it for them, why not for us?

But the real head-scratcher is the seemingly random catastrophe. It’s when we’re hit out-of-the-blue with some terrible event – the death of a child, an earthquake, a flood, a tornado, or a devastating fire. All “acts of God,” or so the insurance industry would have us believe. The more random the event, the more God is suspect.

Such events make God look like a mean drunk. The human family knows that when he gets angry, all hell’s gonna break loose. Religion, then, becomes a coping mechanism. If I beat myself up, maybe God won’t hurt me. If I stand really still and not look him in the eye, maybe he’ll leave me alone and pick on someone else. Keeping the peace becomes paramount, because you never know when the pots and pans are going to start flying, so you make long lists of rules, hoping to keep the devil at bay.

Doesn’t this approach strike you as the reasoning of a child? How can truth be born out of trauma? How can peace be had by holding your breath? Such a God is a monster, a “feckless thug,” as Martin Sheen called him in The West Wing, an arrogant, uncaring despot who makes bets with Satan on just how far his servant Job can be pushed before his spirit breaks. Who could love that? Fear him, yes. But love? You would have to hate yourself first, then maybe.

Science changed all that. Science was the rebellious teenager who stood up to his abusive father and left home, vowing never to return. It was humanity’s first step towards adulthood. And as with all rebellious children, we went out of our way to be the opposite of our parents. God was thrown out with the bathwater, along with everything that looked or sounded like God, especially the Bible.

In denying an “all-powerful” God, we set about discovering our own power, and the more we found it, the less we needed miracles to fix our problems. Science became the miracle, and the better we got at it, the more miraculous it seemed. But the power went to our heads, and before anyone realized, we became our abusive father, and like him we discovered that the more randomly we used our newfound knowledge, the more powerful we felt, the more godlike we felt.

Our random use of scientific knowledge became epitomized in the saying, “If it can be done, it should be done.” And since we were all-powerful, if any negative consequences should arise, we would fix them. That’s how powerful we are. Knowledge is power, and it had made us drunk. The world was just going to have to conform to our designs, not God’s. As long as we kept calling God “nature,” the more we felt justified in competing with him. But this was still the same ‘ole thinking, the thinking of a child. We were still in the same paradigm, only now WE were God, and all of the nonsense we had ascribed to him we started believing about ourselves.

But science has revealed one life-altering fact: the universe runs itself according to certain laws, laws that even the universe itself cannot break. The order that we sought when we turned our backs on our supposed capriciousness of God has revealed itself in greater and greater detail. Everywhere we look, we see that matter, energy systems, and natural processes are embedded with an ordered intelligence. It’s almost as if matter itself were intelligence made visible. And, it’s all connected. The notion that we can do whatever we want is slowly being unmasked as the “gimme” mentality of a two-year-old. Now we know that when we pluck a single string in the web of life, the whole thing vibrates.

Our understanding of God is changing.

Instead of living like serfs outside the castle walls, our relationship with this new God is more like growing up in a family business. Mom and Dad are the boss, but it’s the business that’s the important thing, not their egos. As children and heirs, we are constantly being groomed for success, not servitude. The more we learn the ropes, the more responsibility we can take on. And with greater responsibility comes greater opportunities for self-expression. As we grow, the business grows, and as the business grows, we grow. It’s a living system, and we are integral to it.

It’s through self-expression that we discover the truth about ourselves – the truth within ourselves. Only by letting it out can we tell what it is. As long as we keep ourselves separate from the intelligence inherent in the cosmos and in nature, as long as we behave as though we have to dodge the bullets of an angry God, and as long as we see the random events in our lives as the diddling of a bored, “all-powerful,” divine dictator, we will never feel free enough to bring that which is within us out into the world. And that which is within us can save us, because that which is within us is infinitely wise.

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Own It!—the deeper meaning of Thou Shalt Not Covet

excalibur

by Michael Maciel

I was halfway expecting the Ten Commandments to have a rousing finale or at least have an ascending order of punch, like David Letterman’s Top Ten List, saving the best for last. But no. The Decalogue reads more like journalism, putting the most important information up front and then filling in the details, sort of like a Terms of Use Agreement. You read the first two or three lines and then click Accept and move on. Keeping God first (or being true to your highest ideal, whichever way you want to read it) turns out to be THE most important point. Everything else hangs on that, which is as it should be.

So, we’ve cascaded through the Big Ten, finding, more or less, a conspicuous pattern that tells us, from an under-the-hood perspective, how to pray for what we want and get it. This isn’t prayer for the sake of devotion, nor is it full-blown adoration; it is simply the Laws of the Universe and how they avail themselves through the agency of mind. It is God telling us that we are SO loved that we have at our fingertips everything we need to shape our destiny and to do so without incurring the karma of preventing others from doing the same. The Ten Commandments tells us not only how to treat each other but also gives us an instruction manual on how to use the Law of Mind, the Law of Prayer.

And so now we’re at Number 10:

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Right away, you can see that we have to update this one somewhat. After all, wives can pray just as well as husbands, and no one (not in my neighborhood, anyway) has indentured servants or livestock. The last enumerated item says it all: or anything that belongs to your neighbor. This was undoubtedly inserted in order to avoid the inevitable “what-abouts” that would surely arise around the campfire or in a court of law. You can just hear the judge saying, “What part of ‘everything’ don’t you understand?”

The keyword, however, can’t be found in the list of what-abouts. Instead, it’s in the word “belongs.” The implication of this word is huge, because it establishes (or at least acknowledges) the principle of private property. This is something that in today’s world we take for granted, so much so that we can hardly imagine life without it. Everything in modern society hinges on it. There’s your stuff and my stuff, and there are strict rules on how they should interact. And obviously, taking my stuff is forbidden, but we’ve already covered that in Thou Shalt Not Steal. So why is it necessary to reiterate it? Because stealing and coveting are two different things—or are they?

To covet means to yearn for or desire. How can yearning for or desiring your stuff make me a thief? Or is it simply a matter of God telling me to create my own happiness and not waste my time longing for someone else’s? Or maybe it’s telling me that happiness doesn’t consist in owning things. That would certainly up the ante, wouldn’t it—make the law about love and fulfillment and not earthly possessions? Or maybe it’s about desirelessness itself, which is pretty much a universal spiritual principle found in all of the world’s major religions—“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” But this would go against the very thesis of the Ten Commandments being a veiled set of instructions on how to get what you want through the Law of Prayer. Doesn’t loving God with all you’ve got really mean focusing on the object of your desire to the exclusion of all else? From a practical standpoint, this certainly makes sense. Everyone knows that without dedication and focus, our dreams cannot materialize. Whether or not you believe that the universe is a creative medium that responds to thought charged with intention, no one can deny that most accomplishments and acquisitions come as a result of sheer focus and determination. Everyone uses the Law of Mind, whether consciously or not.

No, accomplishment and acquisition, while being the result of using the Law of Prayer, are not the means by which these things come about. And perhaps this is the most important instruction of them all. Maybe the author of the Decalogue really did save the best for last, and Thou Shalt Not Covet is the key to the whole thing, the missing piece that ties the rest together. But how? If desirelessness is the ideal, spiritually speaking, why want anything? Why pray for anything? If we’re honest with ourselves, this is the crucial question. Should we lie down in green pastures, or do we build cities?

Let’s ask an artist.

Writer Joan Didion said, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” And Henry Ward Beecher said, “Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” Vincent van Gogh adds, “The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting.” Surely, we are born to create. If we are made in God’s image, then this is why we are here, because God, above all, is a creator. The creative urge runs through us like freight train. It is unstoppable. We are ever expanding into new areas of possibility, ever seeking ourselves, to know the full measure of our souls.

Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
–Kahlil Gibran

We create so that we might know ourselves, and, in that knowing, know God—not as an idea but as a living reality. And for something to be alive, it must be creative. It cannot merely repeat the past; that is replication. Crystals replicate, life creates. It creates as a means of self-discovery, because most of what we are is as yet undiscovered. We know of ourselves as we live!

Are you ready for the twist? Saying that we shouldn’t covet our neighbor’s stuff is the surface message, which is fine if all you need are some basic rules to live by. But to drill down we need to look at it from a different angle. There are two things going on: one, you want something. Two, you think you see it already owned by someone else. Then, either out of laziness or the belief that your item is in limited supply, you fixate on the one you can see with your physical eyes instead of creating it within yourself. In a sense, you’re stealing someone else’s vision. This subverts the entire creative process, because the thing you’re coveting is just a thing. You haven’t invested any of yourself into it. Whenever we envision something that we want to manifest in our lives, it comes through us, not somebody else. Someone might give it to you, but that’s different from you taking it. How can you own something you didn’t “pay” for?

When something belongs to you, it’s because you own it. But how can you own something that hasn’t manifested yet? Well, it has manifested—in your imagination. You’ve heard the saying: “Own it!” A vision is just a figment of your imagination until you make it yours, until you make it, in a very real sense, God. Your God. For you, your vision is the face of God, the channel through which all good things will come to you. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. And just as a mystic sees God in everything, your world must be filled with your vision. Your vision must be more real than the world itself. Everything you do must be oriented towards your vision. This is how the great people throughout history have turned their visions into reality.

I know, it’s hard making a good parking spot your “vision.” But you have to start somewhere, right? Besides, finding good parking is what your body needs; finding your heart’s desire is what your soul needs. Get good at one, and you’ll get better at the other. The more you work with the Law of Prayer, the more you will be praying. And that, by default, is putting God first in all things.

There’s a distinctive feeling in owning something, especially in the sense that you are taking responsibility for it. Kings and queens, and other people in positions of authority, are able to command others in direct proportion to how much they own their authority. They have authority because they are the authority. There comes a point in your relationship with the Law of Mind, the Law of Prayer, where you no longer ask for what you want—you command that it be done. This is not usurping God’s power. It’s owning the fact that God will give you whatever you want. And it’s owning it in your bones! You cannot operate with perfect expectation unless you fully accept this fact as the bedrock of your reality.

There comes a point in every professional artist’s career when she or he achieves the perfect expectation of perfection. It happens because they speak it into being. They speak it with their whole body, their whole mind, and their whole soul. And then it happens. It happens because they said it would happen, not because they got lucky or because God “favored” them. God has no favorites. In this, we all stand equally before God. God loves everyone the same, because we all have equal access to the Law of Mind.

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Oneness, Pure Consciousness, and other misleading ideas

spacemountain

by Michael Maciel

When ancient teachers spoke of abstractions such as “pure consciousness,” it was in much the same way that Jesus taught in parables. Jesus told his disciples that he taught the multitude in parables but that he taught them, his disciples, what the parables meant.

Throughout the history of the Ancient Wisdom Teachings, the inner truths were only taught by word of mouth. They were never written. This is called the “Oral Tradition.” It is generally practiced one-on-one or in very small groups. The only way they could be written was in a form that alluded to the truth without spelling it out.

One such teaching is that of “oneness.” Often you will hear it expressed as the “non-dual state” or “pure consciousness.” These words describe concepts that are strictly theoretical; there is no way that the reality they name can be expressed in words. It just can’t be done.

This begs the question: why utter these words at all? It’s pretty much understood that concepts get in the way of “pure consciousness,” so why introduce more of them? Why give the mind one more bone to chew on?

True master teachers (and gurus) are not usually prone to theorize. Nor do they expound philosophy for its own sake. True spiritual teachers know that too much thinking is antithetical to realization, so they emphasize meditation and other spiritual exercises. They know that the truth cannot be written in books, nor can one get to it by reading. The truth only comes as a result of going within to find the God Self.

While realization cannot be expressed in words, the instructions on how to get to realization can. The teaching of “oneness” isn’t meant to be taken as a concept but as an instruction. You can be wowed by the concept for as long as you want to be, but in the end, the teaching of oneness is not much more than hyperbole – a noble and lofty ideal towards which to strive. It’s the “mountaintop experience,” the “pure consciousness of God,” and the “non-dual state.” But these words are all concepts. And they do NOTHING to get you there.

They do nothing, that is, unless you know how to read these teachings as instructions and not as philosophical ideas. For instance, the term “pure consciousness” really means “consciousness without content.” The instruction is implied, not spelled out, and it’s saying, “Empty your mind; stop thinking; be present to what is.”

But even these words are fraught with conceptualizations. Being present to what is can be taken as noticing the flowers in the garden or the wind on your cheek – natural phenomena unburdened by the interpretations of the mind. But consciousness without content excludes these phenomena as well. Consciousness without content means being conscious of consciousness. It means awareness turned inward upon itself, like shining a flashlight into a mirror.

So the term “pure consciousness” means much more than the cessation of thought. It means awareness aware of itself and nothing more – it’s not stopping to notice the sunset. No one can teach you how to do this; you have to work at it on your own. But they CAN tell it to you in just this way: go within, turn your awareness inward upon itself, and continue doing that until you realize the Self.

There are other instances of veiled instructions. When Jesus said “Judge not,” he was describing the method by which we can achieve equanimity or oneness. He was telling us to look upon all things (not just people) and view them all the same; all things have the same value; we are not to ascribe more value to one thing over another, no matter how much we need or want it. “Judge not” is a method, not a moral imperative. It can be taken as one, but its real purpose is to lead you within your own consciousness and to work with it.

The teaching of “oneness” alludes to this same instruction. Who will cause the mountains to be made low and the valleys to be exalted? Will the landscape literally invert itself? Will God come down from heaven and do it? No. It is WE who are to do the leveling. We are the ones who will make the first last and the last first. We will strip these things of the artificial values we have ascribed to them, and in so doing, we will see the world, perhaps for the first time, as it is and not as what we think it is.

There is some utility in creating concepts such as oneness and pure consciousness. Like the parables Jesus told to his casual listeners, they are memorable and will someday remind the more inquisitive among the audience to delve deeper into the mystery behind them. But if you’re reading this article, and you’ve made it this far, it’s unlikely that you will be satisfied with mysteries or, for that matter, concepts.

“Oneness” is not a mantra. Repeating it will not get you any closer to it. You have to do what the concept implies. But in order to do that, you have to hear it as an instruction, not as a concept. You have to take notice when you find yourself valuing one thing over another, and you have to make the effort to correct that. You have to work at it, because the mind – your mind – will fight you tooth and nail.

The principal teachers of the world, people like Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Hypatia of Alexandria, and Mary Magdalene, never spoke about the teachings directly. They always hid their true meaning from the eyes of the profane. They did this partly because it’s impossible to verbalize the truth and partly because it’s against the rules of the Ancient Wisdom Tradition. Instead, they presented them as concepts, usually pictorialized in stories. Later, they would take their disciples aside and tell them what the stories meant, not to explain them but to put them into their proper context, which was one of instruction, not ideas.

If we can avoid hyperbole for hyperbole’s sake, the Ancient Wisdom Teachings will make a lot more sense. It does no good to say that God is pure consciousness unless we know how to read that. Otherwise, it’s just another philosophical dead-end, unattainable, and entirely useless.

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