Sorrow Cleanses the Soul

by Michael Maciel

We’ve all done something that we regret. Shame keeps us from facing the loss that our action caused, which makes it difficult to be with the fact of the results of what we did.

By “fact,” I mean the changed reality that our action created. What we did cannot be undone—and we know it.

But being with the fact is different from mourning the loss. That’s how we know if what we’re feeling is true sorrow and not merely the emotion of sadness. Something has been broken and it cannot be repaired—that’s the fact. And our full-on acceptance of it leaves us feeling profoundly empty.

Emotions cannot exist in emptiness. They have no place there. If we’re in emotional pain, it’s because we haven’t accepted the reality of the absence. That which is gone cannot be retrieved, no matter how much we want it.

True sorrow can only be experienced within the emptiness of the fact of that. So when we finally accept the absence, there is no emotion, because the new reality is empty.

Why go there? Because it’s real. Emotional turmoil happens when we refuse to accept what is. It’s the reaching for the out-of-reach, desiring the unattainable, and the desperate clinging to what no longer exists that causes pain.

In emptiness, there is no pain. And it’s out of emptiness that something new can be born.

When we come to the stark realization that our life is an abject failure, that nothing we have done has gotten us any closer to God, then and only then can we begin our path of return.

Anything more than that is baggage.

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Spiritual Illumination – Let Your Light Shine

Matthew 5

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Did you know that you can see light in your body? This is what the Bible means when it says that Christ will return to Earth.

It’s very explicit about that. What it kinda keeps hidden is that you are the Earth. You are ground zero! 

In this video, we’re going to talk about how you can open up and receive the Light of Christ, not just understanding but REAL LIGHT!

So, if you’re looking for ways to make God real in your life, you’re in the right place.

In Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus gives us three clues to how we can fill our body with light. Not understanding but light.

First, he tells us that we are the light of the world and that a city on a hill cannot be hid. 

This tells us that the world needs light and that we are the source of that light,“we” meaning humanity as a whole. But humanity is made up of individuals—you and me. We have to choose to find the Light of Christ. Each one of us.

And light is the life-energy made visible, right? So, we are the life of the world.

If you’re into feng shui, you know that you never build a house on top of a hill but rather halfway down. Otherwise, you draw too much attention to your home. You only build on top of a hill if you want people to find you. 

And he makes it clear that everyone is going to know you’re carrying the light, because people are drawn to people who shine, people who are vibrant, people who are ALIVE.

Second, he says that we’re like a candle and that no one hides a candle under a basket. We put candles on top of candlesticks so that they light up the room and everyone can see.

And look, so far we’re talking in terms of elevation, right? On a hill, on a candlestick. 

Hills, or mountains, symbolize heightened awareness. And candlesticks, like pillars and staffs, represent our spine and the kundalini. 

Remember, these symbols were around WAY before Jesus’ time, but he knew what they meant. That’s why he used them. 

And third, Jesus tells us to let our light shine so that people can see it.

Why? Is it so we can be popular? NO. We shine so that GOD can be popular.

We want to present ourselves to the word in such a way that people will see us and have hope. 

We do it so that they can see that LIFE IS GOOD and that it’s worth living, in spite of how hard it is sometimes. 

That’s the “good news”—if you open up to the power of the life-energy in you and you let it shine into all aspects of your life, everything, no matter how difficult, is suddenly worth the effort. 

That’s what the word “gospel” means—life is good! Sure, it hurts, but it’s worth it. 

When we live our lives as though they are brimming with possibility, it keeps us moving forward.

Instead of running away from everything, we seek out new experiences, better relationships, more meaningful vocations, and a heartfelt desire to cooperate, not fight. 

So, even if you don’t believe in God or Jesus Christ, this is still the best philosophy in town. It WORKS! It makes life infinitely better. 

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One and All

by Michael Maciel

We affirm our values as to what is not only good for one but what is good for all.

The paradox is that what is good for one IS good for all, and what is good for all IS good for the one.


If the one sacrifices herself to the all or the all sacrifices itself to the one, then neither can live. The two must remain entirely intact before both can benefit.

The all absolutely depends on the one, and the one absolutely depends on the all.

This is the paradox.

It’s the eternal juxtaposition of duty and destiny.

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The Silent Workers for God

by Michael Maciel

There are two ways to be a minister, to serve God and humanity—two fundamental divisions of service. One way is to serve people directly by ministering to their spiritual needs through teaching, healing, and the sacraments. The other way is through prayer, distance healing, and soul work. One way is performed in the world, while the other is performed on what we call the “other side.”

Of course, most of us who have been doing this work for a long time do both. We work with people from the outside in and from the inside out. That’s one way of putting it. And this is preferable, because it generates a lot of motive power. Things get done. 

But not everyone likes to work this way. Some prefer the hands-on approach, while others are much more attuned to the inner planes of action. That’s where they feel most comfortable because they don’t like to draw attention to themselves. They tend to be private in their spiritual work. They don’t like to talk about it. But when they go within and pray for someone, miracles happen. People’s lives change. 

In this  age of scientific materialism, there’s not a lot of recognition for the work that these people do. In fact, they’re generally regarded as kooks, New Age, airy-fairy, and a whole host of derogatory names too numerous to mention. And this could be part of the reason why such people don’t like to talk about what they do. But mostly it’s because they don’t care what other people think about them. They know that their work is real and that it gets real results. 

These are the people that us teacher types love the most, because they are the ones who keep the Earth balanced and the flow of the Holy Spirit intact. They are the Silent Workers. They go about their sacred tasks quietly, without fanfare, and without the need for recognition. Because they know that all of the recognition they need comes from God and the Host above. They like it that way.

Our purpose in The Mystical Christ Academy is to give these quiet power people a few extra tools that they can use in their work that will provide a little extra boost. We work with those who like the outer activity, too. They have their own sets of tools. But it’s the inner corps, those who do their work in the dead of night on the unseen planes of life that we’re especially interested in, because they make the outer work so much easier for the rest of us. 

They’re the ones who make the aha’s possible—those bursts of light that happen in the consciousness of those who are just starting out on the spiritual path, or the feeling of peace and the sense that everything is going to be okay for those dying in a hospice or back alley somewhere in the world. They are the ones who keep the flow of God’s grace pouring in, the stuff that keeps the planet spinning on its axis and keeps the food showing up on our tables. 

These people are all over the place. They’re in the mountains of Tibet, the coal mines of West Virginia, and the Starbucks on Market Street in San Francisco. They are the school teacher who prays for her students, the doctor who cares for the people in her care, the bus driver who silently blesses everyone who gets on his bus. They’re everywhere doing their inner work, staying under the radar, quietly going about their business, and changing the world. 

If you’re one of these silent workers, become a member of The Mystical Christ Academy. You can find us on Patreon at

No fanfare, no speeches—just the tools you need to do your holy service. 

You can also reach out to me at

God bless you, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours in Christ,

Michael Maciel

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Do You Need a Spiritual Teacher?

by Michael Maciel

Do you need a spiritual teacher?


What you need is a specific set of skills that you can use in your spiritual life—tools.

Tools are meant to be used. And these tools can only be used by YOU. No one can use them for you.

As long as you have the tools you need, you can build a foundation that you can use in whatever path you follow.

All you have to have are a few basic instructions and you can take it from there.

Hi, I’m Michael Maciel and this is the Mystical Christ, and we’re going to talk about these tools right now.

Stick around until the end and I’ll give you a link to more information.

There are three skillsets that everyone, regardless of their religion or spiritual path absolutely MUST have:


You have to be able to transform your emotions into a force for change instead drowning in them.

Can you stabilize your emotions so you don’t sink in them?

Metaphorically speaking, can you walk on water?

What you need to do is make it so they support you and not drag you under.

In another video, I’ll show you how. But for now, all you have to know is that it’s possible.


Can you focus your attention on one thing for a period of time—say, 30 seconds—1 minute—5 minutes—or even 15 minutes.

Learning how to focus your attention is key to the spiritual path. No one gets very far without it.

Because the farther along you get, the more power there is.

If you let yourself get distracted, that power will 4 c you like a pile of leaves in the wind.

Focus takes practice. It has to be there in every kind of situation.


 You have to know what to do with your body.

Our bodies run on habit. They like patterns, predictable patterns.

But especially, they have to be able to USE the energies of your emotions and thoughts.

If these three things are out of alignment, you won’t be able to make any progress.

So these are the three tools you have to master.

  • transforming your emotional energy
  • focusing your attention
  • and becoming aware of the patterns in your life and how your emotional and psychic energies flow through them

Obviously, there’s a lot more to this. But for now, make these your primary goal. 

In future videos, we’ll get into the details.

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What Is Truth?

by Michael Maciel

A scientist once said, “The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine,” meaning that the human mind is not capable of a direct perception of reality. Even the most enlightened people in their highest experience of oneness can only be confronted by it, not comprehend it in its fullness.

Unfortunately, many people define “truth” as anything that validates their beliefs. This, however, is a bastardization of the word.

Scientists, on the other hand, if they are faithful to the scientific method, always seek to disprove their hypotheses and don’t stop until they’re either successful or unsuccessful. Even then, it’s only a step towards truth and can be subject to revision when further data is available.

Philosophers approach truth in the same way. They work within conceptual frameworks that prove to be the most comprehensive, but they’re always willing to revise their conclusions when those frameworks prove to be inadequate. But as with scientists, their willingness to transcend their conclusions is inversely proportional to their investment in them.

In the political sphere, truth is only as good as the data that support it, but that’s based on an unbiased assessment of those data and their interpretation, which then drives policy. The primary metric for ascertaining truth in this domain is whether the speaker is lying, which can also be incentivized by investment.

But then we have to ask, are they lying deliberately, or do they truly believe what they’re saying? And if so, is it a lie? This is where open dialog is of greatest importance, because ideologically driven people usually have at least some dedication to truth and can thus be open to debate, whereas those who essentially have no ideology but instead use ideas solely as tools for manipulation have no such dedication except to power. That’s another domain entirely. It has nothing to do with honest policymaking, only control.

What can be said, will be said.

The final arbiter of truth is the act of praying for truth. We ask for it to be revealed to us from the Universal Intelligence we call “God.” But this truth does not come in the form of an “answer.” Truth, as truth, is indefinite and unspecified from our human perspective. It is, you might say, free of content. You could call it the potential for truth, the depth of which is infinite. But this doesn’t mean that truth as we understand it doesn’t exist. It only means that its full range—its totality—is inaccessible.

Knowing this is the essence of humility.

Praying for truth allows the energy of it to descend upon us and, in so doing, cleanses our doors of perception and lets us see more of what is. It doesn’t give us the answer, but it does greatly widen our horizons. As Saint Paul said, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

By itself, truth cleanses us so that we can peer a little more deeply into the heart of reality. It’s as though reality, then, sees more deeply into us, and we become better known by it, to the extent that we are capable of opening up to it.

Lin Chi

Neither does praying for truth do anything at all, necessarily, for our understanding. That’s on us. We can pray for that, too, but it requires work on our part before what’s true can be integrated into our worldview and thus our activities. Praying for understanding greatly enhances our capacity for it, but capacity has to be implemented before it becomes useful in a meaningful way.

Chemists might know what a particular atom is, but unless they understand its valence, they won’t know what to do with it. An encounter with our shadow is a powerful event, but without integration, it’s meaningless. Integration is a form of understanding. And unless we understand our worldview in the context of culture and history, we don’t really understand it at all, and it devolves into an ideology.

And this leads us to courage, without which transcendence is impossible, because letting go of our conclusions can be frightening. No one likes uncertainty and will sacrifice almost anything to preserve their current understanding of reality. This is why the 9th Century Zen master, Lin Chi, said, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” It’s far less risky to hang onto our preconceptions than it is to let go of them. And yet, unless we do, our apprehension of the truth not only stops in its tracks but immediately starts to degrade. As Jeremiah said, “Our God is a living God.” The truth does not live in answers—it lives in the present moment.


If you like this essay, please share it with your friends, and be sure to check out my YouTube channel, The Mystical Christ with Michael Maciel. You can also join us on Facebook. See you there!

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Reboot Your Spirituality for the New Year

by Michael Maciel

Learning how to access our own wisdom is more important than learning someone else’s techniques and practices. Doesn’t it make sense that everything we need in order to grow spiritually is already right at our fingertips? Here are eight spiritual tools that we were born with:

Fill your body with light. Every cell in our body is filled with light and energy. When we allow ourselves to experience this directly, it enlivens our entire system. It also tunes us in to the divine intelligence that created us, and it reboots the original programming we were created with in the beginning. This light energy in our bodies, and the intelligence inherent within it, is the interface between us and God. When we put our attention on it, it grows stronger, and so does the interface. Our intuition gets better, events occur with greater synchronicity, and our thoughts manifest much more quickly. This is not a patented technique. We were all born with it.

Sit up straight and stand erect. This is a yoga exercise you can do all day long. In Buddhism, there is a concept called axis mundi. It means “center of the world.” It’s where Buddha sat when he came into enlightenment, and it’s represented in Christianity by Christ on the cross. It is the lifting up of the serpent by Moses in the wilderness, and it is the Central Mountain of the World of the Ogallala Sioux. When the ancient philosophers insisted that the Earth was the center of the universe, they were talking about axis mundi (philosophy and science had not yet separated). By sitting up straight and standing erect, we are telling the universe, with our bodies and our intention, that we are one with axis mundi.

Breathe. This is the first and last thing we do on Earth, and it is the most important tool in our spiritual tool bag. I saw a bumper sticker once that said, “Stop Holding Your Breath.” My reaction was, “Who, me?” It’s fear (apprehension and stress) that makes us hold our breath. And if Saint Paul was right when he said that perfect love casts out all fear, then breath and love are directly related. The formula is simple: when we breathe properly, our heart chakra opens.

Be grateful. Don’t be grateful for what you are experiencing, be grateful regardless of what you’re experiencing. Gratitude is the reset button of spiritual energy work. No matter what’s happening or how you’re feeling, gratitude restores the flow of grace. Gratitude is the one virtue within everyone’s immediate grasp. Why is gratitude so important? Because it dissolves resistance. And resistance, according to Ohm’s Law, restricts the flow of energy.

Relax. When I was a teenager, I was into alpine ski racing. You wouldn’t believe how slippery snow can be when it turns into ice, especially when you’re skittering across a steep slope of it at sixty mph. Next to strong leg muscles, controlled relaxation is the most important acquired skill. If your upper body gets tense, it becomes impossible to maintain balance and control, regardless of how strong you are. Similarly, when you’re walking on icy pavement, relax your shoulders and let them drop. This lowers your center of gravity and keeps your weight over your feet, making you less likely to fall. Spiritually, it works the same way: When we try to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, we tense up. Rapid changes can throw us. Also, the smooth muscles in our bodies, like the ones in our stomach and small intestine, react to stress in a way that we cannot immediately control. They have a mind of their own, and like a tortoise with its head pulled back into its shell, they won’t relax until the coast is clear. Just telling yourself to relax is not enough. The body has to be trained over time to relax, through practice and repetition.

Pay attention to your attention. If you’ve ever flown an airplane or sat next to a pilot in the cockpit, you know that the instruments inside the airplane are just as important as what’s going on outside. We have instruments, too, and they’re always reporting valuable information to us. But, if our attention is always on the externals of our life, those inner reports will go unnoticed. We’ll be flying blind in the dark. Remember, in life there is more to the unseen than there is to the seen. Learn how to read the unseen. Pay attention to your instruments!

Find a way to serve others. In water pumps, there is a component called a “check valve.” It’s a spring-loaded valve that lets the water flow in one direction only. We all need an activity in our lives that employs the spiritual equivalent of a check valve. This means giving one hundred percent without getting something back. The keywords here are giving and one hundred percent. Giving means giving something of value, such as your time or your money. (Compliments, promises, and pats on the back don’t count.) One hundred percent means that you give to everyone, not just those you like—no room for prejudice and bias here. Like the rain that falleth on the just and the unjust alike, you have to give freely without thought of return. Serving and gratitude go hand in hand. Whereas gratitude dissolves resistance, self-forgetting service brings that resistance right up to the surface and into the light where you can do something about it. So simple, so fast, and so elegant.

Change the past. Everyone has a story to tell, and the stories are usually loaded with drama. So and so did this; so and so did that. And now I’m a mess because of it. But these are just stories. The actual events are like the lines of the drawings in a child’s coloring book; we’re the ones who add the color, and sometimes it gets very messy. Unfortunately, the drama is too deeply embedded for us to do much about it. It’s like a bad computer program—only a skilled technician should attempt to change it. God is that technician. Ask God to change the story. The events will stay the same, but the story you tell yourself about them will work for you instead of against you. 

We do not need exotic and complicated spiritual practices to cultivate our spiritual energies. Everything we need is already within us. By simplifying our approach and our understanding of spiritual principles, we can achieve greater health, a higher consciousness, and a clearer conscience. The oracles of Delphi had it right: “WoMan, know thyself.” After all, what good is a spiritual practice if you can’t live it every day?

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How to Deal with Difficult People

by Michael Maciel

One of the things that gets in the way of forgiveness is our reluctance to accept the way people are.

We expect them to be different, as though they’re violating our expectations of them. Every time we see them, they surprise us with their behavior.

At some point, we have to ask ourselves why we’re being surprised.

So when we let them be who they are and not try to fit them into our sense of right and wrong, our stress levels go way down. They’re still irritating, they’re still causing problems for us, but we no longer get blindsided by them.

Getting upset with someone for acting badly is like getting upset with a cloud for raining on us.

People who act badly are like that—they’re like a cloud that rains. They’re like a fact of nature.

Seeing them in this way changes us, and as we change, they will change. Maybe not as much as we would like, but enough to lower the stress level for both them and us.

The highest form of love is respect. When people act consistently, we tend to trust them, and trust is the foundation of respect.

Trying to change people is the highest form of disrespect, so when we stop doing that, they sense it. They can feel us withdraw our “changing” energy from them, and they tend to settle down.

This is a lot of what “love your enemies” is about.

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Love Your Enemies

by Michael Maciel

Jesus told us to love our enemies. WHAT are we supposed to do with that? I mean, it’s hard enough to love the people we love, right? How, then, are we supposed to love those who, by definition, we hate?

Let’s define our terms:

And these definitions aren’t conclusive, they’re just something to work with—a working model. 

What do we mean by love? Let’s use THIS as our working model:

Love is connection. Like in the movie, Avatar, love is saying, “I see you.” When we love someone, we don’t see them through a filter. We don’t see them through the filter of our judgments about them. We don’t see them through a filter of what they’ve done to us in the past. We don’t see them through any filter at all. We see them

We see the person. And we see past their filters—the way they see us. Because, we’re their enemy, too. So, it’s two people looking at each other as God Beings—no filters, no history, just awareness in the present moment. That’s connection. That’s love.

When you do that, even if it’s one-sided, the event is too large for emotion. The sheer intensity of the moment takes us to a higher level of experience and we see him or her as they are, not how we feel about them. 

The truth of the matter? — the purer love is, the more impersonal it becomes. Don’t ask me how or why—that’s just how it works. 

And then there’s the word “enemy.” Now, the important thing about this is that when Jesus said, “Love your enemies,” he didn’t say anything about that magically turning them into your friends. No. He didn’t say that at all. And that makes it all the more difficult because loving them doesn’t come with any promises. We have to love them as they are. We have to be able to love them even though it doesn’t change anything about the way they feel towards us. In fact, it implies that we have to love them even if we’re engaged with them in combat. 

Okay. So love is seeing the other person—in this case, your enemy. This is true connection because when you do this, you’re seeing them in the present moment. And that changes everything. Now, remember, this person is your enemy. That means that he is coming at you. He is actively opposing you and what you’re trying to do. It’s gonna be a fight, whether you want one or not.

Jesus was a person. He knew how this works. If someone is trying to do you in, the worst thing you can do is close your eyes. Because that breaks the connection. In other words, be with your enemy AS he’s being your enemy

Martial artists know how to do this. They can be so much in the present moment that they can feel what their opponent is going to do almost before they do it. But here’s the thing. It’s not that Jesus is telling us how to be better fighters. He’s telling us not to break the connection. No matter who we’re dealing with. 

Because if we can do this with our enemies, we can certainly do it with the people we love, haha. And right now, that’s pretty important, wouldn’t you say? I mean, Thanksgiving Dinner is only eleven months away, so we better get ready now!

Being connected with your enemy does three things: 

First, you get to know where he is at all times. That’s a huge advantage. 

Not that we’re trying to beat him, necessarily, but we’re trying to keep him from beating us. Because either way, nothing good comes from that. It’s much better to work it out—in such a way that everyone benefits. Love is not a zero-sum game.

And it’s not easy, either. 

So—the second thing being connected does for us is that it keeps our emotions in check. And that’s important. Because the first thing people do when they pick a fight with us is to get us riled. Then they play off of that. But if you stay connected with them, that’s not gonna work.

This leads to the third way that staying connected helps us when we’re dealing with someone who intends us harm. It establishes RESPECT. And respect is what keeps squabbles from turning into murder. At least it keeps aggression within certain bounds. When you respect your opponent, you’re not likely to make a bad situation worse. You’re gonna look for ways to save face—for both of you. And that can make the difference between a brief battle and a multi-generational feud. 

So, in a way, Jesus is teaching us how to fight—he’s teaching us how to fight fair.

It’s this teaching that prompted America to rebuild her enemies after the Second World War. It’s what helped Nelson Mandela heal the wounds of a divided nation. And it’s what helped Martin Luther King to bridge the racial divide and bring both parties to the table. This is what connection does. It allows good things to happen, even in the face of animosity. 

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God: “Father” or “Mother”?

by Michael Maciel

There’s a better way to approach this question. God is only gendered in a mythic sense, not literally. Mythic truths are never meant to be taken literally because they have their own epistemological domain, one that is fundamentally different from empirical truth.

As students of Christian Mysticism, we know that God is One, but we do not think that God is monolithic. 

When we speak of God in gendered terms, it’s the masculine and feminine aspects of Deity with which we are attempting to form a connection. We’re not trying to say that God is a man or God is a woman. That is in a completely different conceptual universe. 

But God lives in us and is the source of all of our spiritual energy. We live and move and have our being within God, and God lives and moves and expresses God’s being within all of us, individually and collectively. 

God’s energy has many aspects, of which masculine and feminine are merely two. But it’s easier for us to connect with these two energies specifically because we know what fatherly and motherly energies are like. Both are grounded in love, but both have distinctly different aspects. They are both equal, but they are not the same. We appeal to one for certain needs and to the other for other needs. 

When we approach God’s masculine aspect, as in “Our Father,” we come with the expectation of a perfect father’s love, which is characterized by encouragement, strength of will, concentrated focus, and decisiveness of mind. 

And when we approach God’s feminine aspect, as in “Holy Mother God,” we come with the expectation of a perfect mother’s love, which is characterized by self-sacrificing attention, a gathering in to heal and protect, and the assurance that we are loved.  

We ourselves can manifest either aspect, regardless of our biological sex. Although, our body, along with its functions, reflects in physical form the divine aspect for which it is a living symbol. 

If we try to deny either of these two aspects, insisting instead on a genderless or androgynous god, then one aspect will dominate our psyche and attempt to conceal and suppress the other. We are then stuck with an aspect that, in the absence of its counterpart, becomes unbalanced and destructive. This is true both psychologically and spiritually. 

So, it’s not about who gets top billing. It’s about what we want to accomplish with the energy that God provides us. The energy itself is one energy, but it expresses in many marvelous ways, two of which are Father-energy and Mother-energy

God creates in and through us by our creative activity, which is powered by divine energy. The energy isn’t ours. There is only one energy and it is God’s and God’s alone. But God gave it to us to use

That’s the reason God created us, so that God could experience God’s own creation, to touch the world with our hands, to see the world through our eyes, and to speak the creation into being with God’s own Word of Power.

When we understand these two divine aspects—the Masculine and Feminine—then we’ll understand the Laws of Creation. 

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