- About the Author
- An Introduction
- Bible 01 – How to Read the Bible
- An Easy(?) Way to Learn the Bible
- Bible 02 – Who or What Is God?
- Bible 03 – How the Writers of the Bible Saw the World
- Bible 05 – The Sermon On the Mount – Introduction
- Bible 06 – The Sermon On the Mount – Links to Hinduism
- Bible 07 – Blessed Are the Poor In Spirit
- Bible 08 – Blessed Are They Who Mourn
- Bible 09 – Blessed Are the Meek
- Bible 10 – Blessed Are They Who Hunger
- Bible 11 – Blessed Are the Merciful
- Cycles and Symbols in the Bible
- Bible Studies
- Consciousness Studies
- Faith and Grace
- Getting Started
- Humility 1 – A Quality of Being
- Meditation 1 – Contemplation
- Notes on Truth and Religion
- Prayer 1 – The Scientific Approach
- Recommended Reading
- Service 1 – Paying Attention
- Symbols and the Bible – understanding the usefulness of abstract thinking
- The Candle Exercise
by Michael Maciel
What makes us unique as human beings is the ability to choose which “mind” we tap into. Will it be the mass mind or the mind of Christ? If we tap into the mind of Christ, then to the mass mind we will appear as an island unto ourselves.
The mind of Christ is a wonderful blend of the mind of nature and the mind of the spiritual world. (There is only one mind, of course, but it has many subdivisions: “In my Father’s house there are many mansions.) The mind of Christ reveals the life energy as it manifests in all things, how everything is connected, especially how we are all connected with each other. The more we do this, the more we become capable of feeling compassion.
The mass mind pushes the idea that everything is separate, that different parts of the natural world exist in isolation and are not really connected to the rest of nature. Therefore, they can be exploited as “raw materials” and turned into commodities.
In the mass mind, people are seen as independent agents and thus in competition with each other. Everything that smacks of cooperation is vilified. Well-known objectivist philosopher and author, Ayn Rand, was a major contributor to this worldview.
This dichotomy of unity and division is necessary, however, for soul-growth (which is karma’s purpose). Our purpose is to learn how to create, and the act of creation requires that we first take something apart and then put it back together in a new way (no one ever actually creates anything; matter can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only be reconfigured).
As an example, or proof, that competition is necessary, we can look at how it manifests in the business world (when it’s used in economically healthy ways) in the way it stimulates innovation, improves distribution, and lowers prices. The concept of “pushing the envelope” only makes sense within the context of competition. When competition is directed inwardly, our aspirations compete with former versions of ourselves.
In alchemy, this “taking apart and putting back together” is expressed as “solvae et coagulae,” to dissolve and coagulate. While this is the fundamental premise of the science of chemistry, it is also the fundamental premise of soul-development. We periodically endure the deconstruction of our sense of self and then reconstitute ourselves in new and better ways. When we do this consciously, we are officially on the Spiritual Path.
We have to be careful not to interpret the Law of Karma as Divine punishment. God does not punish. God is not vindictive. We are not in competition with God, but rather we are co-creators with God for the purpose of our spiritual evolution and growth—soul-development.
Note: The prepositional phrase “with God” doesn’t mean that we are separate from God but that it is God that acts “through us as us” anytime we act creatively and not merely replicate what we already are. God manifests whenever there is a change of state, alchemically (and chemically) speaking.