There is power in taking a vow. It may not seem like it, given that so many vow rituals are treated as though they don’t really matter, just a formality, or something nice to do. Or they might be thought of as simply a promise one makes to God, as though the person taking the vow is the giver and God the receiver. This would be like trying to stuff electricity into a wall socket – clearly a misunderstanding of the principles involved.
Another common misperception of vows is that they derive their power from consensus; by stating your intention in front of witnesses, it somehow strengthens your resolve. But this too misses the reality – the power to perform does not come from them, nor does it come from your desire to live up to your word. Power is there, but it doesn’t come from you, and it doesn’t come from another person, although it can come through another person, as long as that person is of high consciousness and knows how to get out of the way and let grace do its work.
So, what is a vow? Let’s start by saying that it is more of a verb than a noun – a vow is an action, not a thing. Yes, there are different names ascribed to vows, but the action in all of them is the same. If we can understand the action, we can understand what the action does.
It is important to get what “action” is. It is perhaps the most important distinction to make when it comes to understanding God and Spirit. Action is power manifesting as energy moving from a source to a receiver. The application of energy upon a receiver is called “force.” So, you have three elements: power, energy, force. Force, semantically speaking, is neutral – a rolling ball striking a wall exerts a force upon the wall; it is not “forcing” the wall to do something the wall doesn’t want to do. Some words, like “negative,” have taken on a negative connotation, which unfortunately obscures their scientific meaning. Force, in the context in which we are speaking, means “energy applied,” nothing more.
Along with the word “action,” there is another word crucial to understanding vows. Unfortunately, I don’t know what that word is ; ) Some might call it “reality,” but that word, like “love,” has many different meanings. When someone says, “I love you,” it has a different meaning from when they say, “I luv you.” You get what I mean. When something is “real,” we mean that it is a part of God, some aspect of the Divine that is all-pervasive, all-inclusive, and eternal. “Reality,” for the sake of this discussion, does not mean my reality or your reality. It means that which is real to God.
Things that are real to God appear archetypal to us – over-arching, abstract, non-specific – like love. The word “love” is a general term to us, but for God it is highly specific. Love is either present, or it is not. Love is a part of God’s being; it is interwoven into the fabric of reality. It is not a concept. So, if we know this about love, and we have actually experienced it, we can enter into the reality of love as though we were entering an energy field – an energy field that is alive and sentient (like you). Being a part of God, when we experience the reality of love, we are experiencing the reality of God.
Remember the three-part principle of power, energy, and force? Well, if a person has gotten in touch with the reality of love, then that person becomes a channel of love for other people. Through the connection we all have with each other, the real displaces the unreal, the energy moves from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. And if a person is receptive to this flow of energy, a force will be applied. In other words, a transformation will take place.
Transformation is key to taking vows. Otherwise, why take them? But like the words “love” and “reality,” transformation has been transformed into something different from its spiritual meaning. “Transformed” is usually thought of as changing into something new, whereas in its spiritual context it means changing back to the way God originally conceived you. It is a kind of washing clean the encrusted self in order to reveal that which was there all the time, only hidden. It is a return to one’s own Divine Nature.
So, here are the keywords: vows, action, reality, sentient energy field, transformation, restoration (return). When a person of high consciousness acts as a channel for God to immerse a willing person in the real energy of God’s own being, the person receiving the blessing is cleansed of the false energy patterns created by years of illusionary thinking and behaving. A vow is a blessing. It is a movement of divine energy that bestows grace upon the receiver, enabling him or her to overcome the inertia of the sensory world, and enlivening the divine spark within.
In subsequent articles, we will discuss the different kinds of vows (using the word as a noun again) and further misconceptions, such as vowing yourself to an organization or to another person, which is something we should never attempt to do.