Author: Roberta Grimes

He Who Is Without Sin…

I believe that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be judged in the long course of history to have been the greatest American of the twentieth century. Of course, there were other Americans during the last century who did remarkable things! But in the fifty-one years since Dr. King’s death his stature has risen, and it continues to rise. What he did during his thirty-nine years of life still continues to shine ever brighter! And as the years and the centuries roll on from here, the various statesmen, generals, scientists, and inventors who were prominent in the twentieth century will be replaced by later figures who make new conquests and discoveries that better suit their own epochs.

Since Abraham Lincoln, there has not been anyone of the stature of Dr. King. Just as Lincoln called us back to our founding principles and made the Founders freshly relevant in his day, so Dr. King did that for the twentieth century, and he did it with an intellectual and spiritual might that makes of him an ever brighter beacon. Very few people in history have truly lived lives for the ages! And perhaps since Jesus walked the earth there has been no one who did more for others in fewer than forty years of life than did Dr. King. He is a genuine giant.    

As would have been true of anyone who was working so hard in the nineteen-sixties to end the long tail of slavery and help this nation at last live up to its own ideals in the area of race, Dr. King had powerful enemies. The worst of these was J. Edgar Hoover, then the longtime head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a man who bore Dr. King such animus that he used his position to secretly record a lot of the civil rights leader’s life; then he tried to blackmail Dr. King into killing himself. All of this has long been known. But recently documents were released from the FBI’s archives that were dated only days before Dr. King’s death, and the allegations made in them seem so damaging that in our shamefully judgmental times they even are giving some King scholars pause.

Do we have the right to judge Dr. King? What might Jesus have to say about that? Perhaps you recall this famous passage from the Book of John:

“The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to (Jesus), ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?’ 6They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’  Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you, either’” (JN 8:3-11).

No matter what is in those FBI documents, who among us has the spiritual rectitude to pick up the first stone and throw it at the titan that is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

And furthermore, it appears that what is in the FBI documents condemning Dr. King is mostly nonsense. A thoughtful article on historycollection.com analyzes both the documents and their place in a turbulent historical period. It then concludes with these paragraphs:

“Part of the reason the FBI was so set on getting rid of King was that they thought he was a communist at a time when communism was seen as the greatest threat to the country. And the documents allege that King was closely tied to communist organizations. But we know now that those ties were made up completely. King himself was no fan of communist regimes. And he made efforts to say so publically but found that his advisors feared alienating supporters who might be communists. ‘There are things I wanted to say renouncing communism in theory,’ King said, ‘but they would not go along with it.’   

“If you take the FBI documents at face value, you’d assume King was a staunch supporter of communism, which he absolutely was not. And if that allegation in the documents is false, it changes the tone of the whole report. It makes it seem less like an objective effort to collect facts and more like an effort to discredit King with any rumor they could find. Ultimately, that’s probably all the report is, a collection of rumors meant to make King look bad.

“That’s not to say that King didn’t have personal issues with sexual affairs. Many of King’s friends and associates have stated over the years that they knew he sometimes had emotional and possibly sexual attachments to women. Like all men, King wasn’t perfect. And like anyone, he made mistakes and did things that might challenge the image of him that has been built up over the years. But the more disturbing allegations in the documents are almost definitely exaggerated or even outright lies. And King’s personal issues don’t take away from his legacy as a champion of equality.”

(All the italics are mine.)

There you have it. Dr. King had extramarital affairs, but apparently the rest of the FBI’s case against him was largely baseless. And as would be true if my own husband were to discover he had some wild oats to sow, Dr. King’s sex life was nobody’s business but his own and his wife’s! The nineteen-sixties were years when promiscuity was judged less harshly than it is judged today, and for prominent men it was almost de rigueur.

Dr. King is an intellectual and spiritual giant who transcends time. In days when this nation was perilously close to splitting apart over racial issues, Dr. King set a pitch-perfect tone that has carried on long after his death and still does its healing work today. As we have been doing with Jesus, let’s sit down together at the feet of this extraordinary man and learn from him.

Dr. King was quoting Thomas Jefferson when he said in July of 1965, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by God, Creator, with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ This is a dream. It’s a great dream! The first saying we notice in this dream is an amazing universalism. It doesn’t say, ‘some men’; it says ‘all men.’ It doesn’t say ‘all white men’; it says ‘all men,’ which includes black men. It does not say ‘all Gentiles’; it says ‘all men,’ which includes Jews. It doesn’t say ‘all Protestants’; it says ‘all men,’ which includes Catholics. It doesn’t even say ‘all theists and believers’; it says ‘all men,’ which includes humanists and agnostics. Never before in the history of the world has a sociopolitical document expressed in such profound, eloquent and unequivocal language the dignity and the worth of human personality. The American dream reminds us—and we should think about it anew on this Independence Day—that every man is an heir of the legacy of dignity and worth.”

“Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.”

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. “

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal’ … I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

“If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.”

“I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.”

Our viciously judgmental time in history will pass, as have so many other benighted ages before it. The moral midgets trying now to destroy not only this nation’s Founding Fathers but also the modern Founding Father that Dr. King is proving to be will soon die unlamented. Then as the future years and centuries pass, the miracle that is this nation, happily founded by a Generation of Giants and largely saved two centuries later by that one extraordinary man, will continue to thrive for the lovers of freedom and justice who are their fortunate beneficiaries. May Americans in the long course of time prove ourselves to be worthy of their gift.

 

King Monument photo credit: Gage Skidmore <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/22007612@N05/8554368583″>Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Johnson photo credit: Jared Enos <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/99610066@N02/11242870095″>President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., Whitney Young, and James Farmer</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

King’s Church photo credit: yooperann <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/99923398@N00/12893644413″>Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

King Vestments photo credit: www78 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/40243520@N02/15694837103″>Martin Luther King Jr. Pastor Artifacts</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

I’m Sorry

One of my first legal clients gave me the most important professional advice I have ever received. In fact, it has turned out to be some of the most important advice about life there is! This young salesman was an astonishing ball of energy, so wound up that he couldn’t sit down so he spent our meetings stalking around my office, looking out windows, reading my diplomas, picking up and studying tchotchkes from my desk, and talking stream-of-consciousness.

I don’t remember his name or much else about him, but one moment remains vivid in my mind. He was establishing a manufacturer’s rep that sold some sort of industrial equipment, and as was my custom I asked him to tell me more about the business, his career, and his dreams. He was in the process of doing that when he paused mid-sentence, looked at me, and said, “When I get a new client, I pray something goes wrong. Do you know why?” Of course, I had no clue. He said, “When something goes wrong, I get to apologize. Then I get to rush in and fix it. That hooks them! I’ve got a client for life.”

I was just starting to work with clients at the time, so what he said that day made a big impression. I began to notice who apologized and who didn’t, and I began to work on establishing a habit of always apologizing myself. I was astonished to realize how difficult developing an apology habit actually is! But I kept at it. I wasn’t representing a manufacturer that had goofed up a client’s order, but there were times when I had done less than my best. It doesn’t matter whether people are angry, or whether they even know you’ve slipped up: coming right out and saying you are sorry can be hard to do at first. But the habit became so ingrained in me that it was only after Thomas had given me our topic for this week that I first even thought about it enough to realize that my apology habit seems never to have caused me any problems at all. In fact, it seems to have been a significant contributor to my professional success. I also think now that it helped to lay the groundwork for my later spiritual life.

Developing a strong apology habit is a wonderful spiritual exercise!

Apologizing requires you to confront your ego, and each time you beat it you soften it more until your ego seems almost to give up trying. Here is why:

  • Apologizing makes you feel weak and exposed. If you admit you made a mistake, will your client ditch you? Might your client even sue you? I never had either experience in my more than thirty years of practicing law, but it certainly could have happened. I do think, though, that your being contrite and eager to fix the problem you inadvertently caused helps to soften whatever the consequences might have been otherwise.
  • Apologizing feels like inflicting harm on your own self-image. You’re not as big an expert as you thought you were! Not if you could make such a foolish mistake.
  • Apologizing puts you in a situation you cannot control. A big part of being a professional is being able to manage your clients. But the minute you say, “I’ve got to apologize for doing X when now I feel I should have done Y, and this is how we’ll need to fix it,” then your client’s reaction and any resulting fallout will be beyond your control.

And in your personal life, apologizing feels even riskier! Will your spouse forgive you, or will s/he feel betrayed? Is it better to bury your mistakes so they won’t put your personal relationships at risk?

As is true of developing a gratitude practice, apologizing goes against our ego-based and self-protective grain. And the wonderful thing about that is the fact that our repeatedly beating down our small-minded human tendencies makes it easier for us to eventually vanquish them. Remember, too, that apology is the flip side of forgiveness, and forgiveness is a core teaching of Jesus. It’s the prelude to learning more perfect love! In fact, your apology is a spiritual gift to the person you have wronged, because it then confers the greater opportunity to learn and apply ever better forgiveness.

I am coming to realize that maintaining a strong apology habit may be just as important to our spiritual development as is maintaining an attitude of gratitude.

Here is how you can best begin to make apologizing a central part of your life:

  • Be alert for apology opportunities. Take as your example my young salesman client, who was trying to find something to apologize for in every new client situation! Our instinct has been to try not even to notice what we ourselves have done wrong, but my own experience was that it soon became pretty easy to override that ego-based reluctance to apologize. And the responses from people when I said I was sorry were generally so positive that before long the habit of apologizing turned out to be self-reinforcing.
  • Keep it simple. Our ego-based instinct is to elaborate, to explain, to justify ourselves, and even to lay some blame on others; but saying anything beyond the fact that you are sorry and you will fix the problem is likely to make you seem devious.
  • Apologize even when the person receiving the apology is more at fault than you are. Whenever I do this, people are all over me, eager to assure me that whatever happened wasn’t my fault at all.
  • You might ask for forgiveness, or you might not. My own instinct now is not to ask for forgiveness because whenever I have done that it seemed to bury the apology. But if it is very important to you that a close friend or family member express forgiveness, then go ahead and ask for it in that one case. In reminding the people we love of the necessity for us always to forgive when someone wrongs us, we are helping to reinforce for them the perfect Gospel teachings of Jesus.

What did Jesus say about apologizing? As is true of gratitude, apologizing is not specifically addressed in the Gospel words that have come down to us, but as is true of gratitude it is certainly implied. Indeed, both gratitude and contrition are at the core of everything that Jesus taught. Take, for example, The Lord’s Prayer, which is the way Jesus suggests that we communicate with God. He urges us to say:

“Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”
(MT 6:9-13).

I would argue that nearly every word of The Lord’s Prayer is an expression of gratitude based in the trusting certainty that God will continue to supply all our needs. And what is “forgive us our debts”? It’s an apology in all but name. Please note in particular how relationship-based this whole prayer is! Forgive us as we forgive others. Your will be done as our earthly needs are supplied. We ask not just that you avoid tempting us, but also that you let nothing else tempt us. Just as is true of gratitude and apologizing, The Lord’s Prayer is all about building and strengthening this essential relationship.

There is a Gospel passage, too, where the notion of apologizing and thereby being reconciled with others is expressed explicitly. Jesus said,     if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison(MT 5:23-25).

We cannot know what more Jesus might have said that was not remembered and passed down for the couple of generations before His words were first committed to writing. My hunch is that He may well have talked about both expressing gratitude and apologizing, since these attitudes seem to be so foundational to everything He said that has come down to us. It may also be that in the younger times in which He lived, people were less ego-driven than moderns are, and were both more grateful and more careful about healing their relationships than we are now.

Gratitude and apologizing are core relationship elements that assist in the work of breaking down the boundaries between ourselves and other people.

The Gospel teachings of Jesus are a mechanism for rapid spiritual growth, but the fact that they have been largely ignored for the past two thousand years suggests that they are not an easy and automatic machine. Rather, they are more like a seed. And Jesus told us that explicitly! He said of His teachings, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up.  Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold” (MK 4:3-8).

Until we have prepared our minds by developing practices of gratitude and apologizing to others – two habits that weaken our egos and strengthen our relationships with other people – we are offering to the seed of the Lord’s perfect teachings mostly stony and unproductive soil.

 

Salesman photo credit: Bestpicko <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/157089461@N07/41390102202″>Businessman in Suit</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Crops photo credit: jack cousin <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/52822484@N03/47999169986″>Rural panorama.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

We Cannot Live in Fear

I was born at the end of the Second World War. When I was a child, the cold war was hot! I don’t think anyone younger than retirement age can comprehend what it was like to be an American child in the early fifties. We expected to be bombed at any moment, to the point where among my first memories is the fact that whenever I went out to play I would be repeatedly looking up and warily studying the planes overhead to try to spot the falling bombs. In school we learned that in the event of an attack, we should hunch under our desks and cover our heads. I recall that one day in 1953 I was coloring on the living room rug when the radio announcer – we didn’t have a TV – solemnly intoned, “Stalin… is dead.” A six-year-old child who had not the dimmest notion of who Stalin might be looked up, alarmed by the thought that maybe now the bombs would come. As I think about it, I realize that I likely didn’t have much notion of what constituted the terrible danger that had filled my life from its earliest moments; but there was a fear at the depth of my being, a horrific danger at the core of my life that in each moment threatened everything I loved.

My mother was throughout her life the happiest person I have ever known. I cannot recall ever seeing her angry, or seeing her fearful about anything, even though my parents had money troubles and their lives were far from perfect. Somehow she rose above it all. And I vividly recall the moment when she was cheerily cooking dinner one day and I walked into the kitchen bearing the entire burden of all those grown-up terrors, and I looked up at her – looked far up, so I know I couldn’t have been more than six – and I said something like, “They could bomb us right now! Aren’t you scared?”

She looked down at me with the small smile that she nearly always wore, and she said, “We cannot live in fear.”

“We cannot live in fear.”

I am sure she promptly forgot that moment, but for me it was a watershed! Repeatedly throughout my life – until I got past fear so I didn’t need her mantra anymore – whenever something would worry me, I would think, we cannot live in fear, and my fears would go away. I learned after her death that she is quite advanced spiritually, which fact does not surprise me at all! If you can jettison the ballast that fear lays on your mind, then the love that is at the core of your being will lift you naturally, just as a bubble that is freed in water rises toward the light.

My mother could not have known why it is so important that we not live in fear, but Jesus knew that fear works against our bringing the kingdom of God on earth, and  the dawning of that earthly kingdom of God was His core reason for coming here. So He spoke against fear repeatedly! To quickly reprise the reasons why conquering fear is so important:

  • The only thing that objectively exists is what we experience in a limited way as consciousness.
  • That same consciousness – or Mind – is what continuously manifests everything that we think is real.
  • Consciousness exists in a range of vibrations, from fear at the lowest and slowest to love at the highest and most rapid.
  • The whole process of spiritual growth consists in raising our personal vibrations away from fear and toward ever more perfect love.
  • When enough of us have sufficiently raised our spiritual vibrations, then the kingdom of God will dawn on earth.

It is no wonder that Jesus so much emphasized our need to free ourselves from fear! Here is the loveliest of those crucial Gospel passages: (D)o not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!  And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom (LK 12:22-32).

The only place in the Gospels where being fearful is encouraged doesn’t even come from Jesus. It comes from what is called the Magnificat, where Mary praises God for the fact that she is miraculously pregnant with Jesus. It begins,

“My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is upon those who fear Him from generation to generation” (LK 1:46-50).

That last sentence is the basis for the fact that Christians consider being “God-fearing” to be actually a virtue! But Jesus tells us no such thing. In fact, He insists that the only virtue is love, and the better we love the more Godlike we are. He says, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (MT 22:37-40). And, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (MT 5:43-48).

The Jesus of the Gospels tells us repeatedly to put away fear so we can perfectly love! But Christians take that sentence from the Magnificat – a sentence that was not even spoken by Jesus – and they beat us for life with the insistence that unless we forever fear God, we cannot have God’s mercy “from generation to generation.” Those words were even displayed on a stained-glass window in my childhood church! I have managed to vanquish fear, but how many other children in that church, and children in how many other churches, have grown into adulthood and then old age with the nagging need to fear God stuck in their minds?

Religious fear is an insidious master. I am coming to think that it is LK 1:50, that one sentence, that lies beneath the fact that Christianity is so negative. Let’s think this through. At the core of Christian teaching is the notion that we are so sinful and unworthy of God’s mercy that God had to send Jesus to die in our place the horrible death that we ourselves deserve. That is already pretty scary, don’t you think? Then LK 1:50 tells us that even after Jesus has settled our score with God, we must continue to fear God in order to continue to receive God’s mercy “from generation to generation.” Say, what? So even after Jesus died for our sins, God remains prepared to do us harm unless we will grovel in fear at God’s metaphorical feet forevermore? God’s love is limited. It is qualified. And fear and love are polar opposites, so what we fear we cannot love! Tragically, just Christianity’s peculiar praise for people who are “God-fearing” puts a barrier between us and God, when Jesus in the Gospels emphatically tells us there must be no barriers at all!

The Jesus of the Gospels plainly says that fearing God lies at the root of all evil. He says that:

  • Fear is the opposite of love, so fearing God makes it much harder for us to grow spiritually; and
  • Fearing God rather than loving God is the biggest factor in depressing the joy and the level of love in our lives.

Fortunately, we can now consign the Magnificat to the dustbin, together with everything else in the Bible that is inconsistent with the Gospel words of Jesus. He tells us that eternally:

  • If we choose to ever more perfectly love God and ever better love our fellow man, we can escape fear altogether; and He specifically says,
  • “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom (LK 12:32).

Even if you still believe that Jesus died for your sins, please remember that He said from the cross, “It is finished” (JN 19:30). And in that moment it was finished indeed! He had taught us all that we need to know to bring the kingdom of God on earth. And He had taught us that nothing but God’s perfect love is upon us from generation to generation, forevermore.

 

Bomber photo credit: kamil_olszowy <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/135931619@N08/46465572204″>Su-22M4</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Ravens photo credit: sophia.grace.uk <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/167460355@N05/48172540771″>Ravens at breakfast this morning</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Mary photo credit: ThiênLong <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/136682034@N03/25483683823″>Vigin Mary with baby Jesus</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Do Not Judge

The Gospel teachings of Jesus include the most radical directives ever given. His ideas seem so revolutionary to most of us that, as the lay theologian G.K. Chesterton so memorably said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting—it has been found difficult and left untried.” The teachings of Jesus are divine commands, cosmic in scale and epic in effect when they are strictly applied, so it is little wonder that Christians shirk them! It is easier to conform to more human-scale rules, all those comforting nostrums that demand so little while they promise to deliver so much.

Rather than attempt to follow the Lord’s commands, Christians cling to the human-made ideas upon which they have built their human-made religion. And the worst of these human-made dogmas is the notion that Jesus died to redeem us from God’s judgment for our human failings. Jesus tells us clearly right in the Gospels that neither He nor God ever judges us, so this is one small human idea that should have been smothered at its birth! Jesus says, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father” (JN 5:22-23). And then He says, If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world (JN 12:47). And lest that word “save” might seem hopeful to Christians who still cling to fear-based human notions, it is clear from what the Lord says in the Gospels that what He came to “save” us from was… all those fear-based human ideas!

Human-made rules are all that matters in modern Christianity. And generally these are easy to follow: just claim Jesus as your Savior, show up on Sunday, put money in the plate, and follow petty rules that other people can police and can judge. I recall as a child how Catholic children could never take a bite from a hot dog without double-confirming that today wasn’t Friday. Fundamentalist Protestant kids were sure that hell yawned before us if we said a bad word. Yet no Christian denomination, even now, insists that the teachings of Jesus must be taken as seriously as He means them to be taken. And because this is true, Christianity as a whole defies the Lord’s most important core teaching. Indeed, it considers the defiance of that most essential Gospel command to be an actual virtue!

Most of us think of God’s Law of Love as the central Gospel command. It is certainly the most popular! When a religious lawyer asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment in the Law, He said the words that Christians relish quoting: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (MT 34:36-39). How we all love those easy and happy words! But it turns out that the easy and happy kind of love is not the sort of love that the Lord demands. No, He says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them! … But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men” (LK 6:32-36).

So, contrary to the comfy teachings about love that Christians come to church to hear, Jesus says that in order for us to love in the way He calls upon us to love, we first must learn perfect forgiveness. And forgiving is a much harder slog than loving, so of course religious Christians don’t emphasize it. Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” And Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (MT 18:21-23). In other words, no matter how many times that same nasty miscreant does the very same awful things to you, it is essential that you forgive him. Every time.

The easiest way for us to achieve the Lord’s standard of perfect forgiveness is to learn prevenient forgiveness, which actually is not hard to do! Indeed, it turns out that mastering the Lord’s version of forgiveness is a piece of cake if we do it right. And once we have it, we begin to rise in spirit naturally toward the perfect love which beneath all this petty human drivel turns out to be what we already are. So forgiveness is not difficult, and love is our birthright. Why then do so few Christians even remotely approach spiritual perfection?

It turns out that beyond forgiveness and love there is one central Gospel teaching that pretty much everyone ignores, yet very closely following that teaching is an indispensable precursor to our ever learning to forgive and love in the transformational way that Jesus tells us we must forgive and love. Here are what turn out to be the Lord’s most essential Gospel words, the teaching that underlies all else: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you” (MT 7:1-2).

Even if Jesus had not added to His command that we love God and love our neighbor the conclusion that On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (MT 34:40), so He thereby replaced the entire Old Testament with God’s perfect Law of Love, we can see that the Lord’s prohibition of our ever judging anyone would have just as completely done the job of consigning all those Old Testament rules to God’s well-deserved eternal dustbin!

But as we have sadly noted, most of the forty-thousand-odd versions of modern Christianity treat the Old Testament’s brutal rules as still God’s Inspired, Inerrant Word; although instead of murdering the miscreants, they only judge and ostracize them. The Old Testament is full of judgment and punishment! Good grief, even not being sufficiently attentive to a clergyman is an unpardonable offense that what Christians call God’s Inspired, Inerrant Word declares is punishable by death. This is the great sin of “acting presumptuously.” Oh, heaven help us! The man who acts presumptuously by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the Lord your God, nor to the judge, that man shall die; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel. Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again” (Deut 17:12-13).

It is because every Christian denomination altogether ignores the Lord’s prohibition on our ever judging anyone that Christians, individually and in congregations, are together the most self-righteously judgmental people on the face of the earth. Here are the words of a fundamentalist preacher who insists to this day that his personal version of the Old Testament is God’s Inspired, Inerrant Word: Islam teaches its adherents to kill those in bondage to homosexuality, but Christianity teaches to pray for them to find freedom from their bondage to sin through Christ!” And, “Pope Francis has said, ‘who am I to judge?’ And the Baptists have been discussing homosexuality and gay marriage as if there were something to be discussed. Let us be clear: having sex in defiance of God’s law is a choice!” Of course, the plain fact is that this good man and so many well-meaning others who still call the entire Bible God’s Inspired, Inerrant Word do not themselves strictly follow it. For example, they feel free now to very harshly judge and condemn but not to outright kill homosexuals, which puts them in plain defiance of what they continue to insist is God’s Inspired, Inerrant Word.

This way lies madness. Jesus tells us plainly that we must not judge, that we must always completely forgive, yet today’s Christians celebrate the courage of bakers and florists who refuse to help loving couples celebrate their unions, simply because those bakers and florists judge and condemn their customers’ life-choices. And an Australian Rugby player has been fired for posting a meme on Instagram that reads, “Warning drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters, Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves.” By what conceivable teaching of Jesus does this man gain the right to judge and condemn all these people to his notion of hellfire?

Let us be clear. I am not saying that secular society is right in attempting to force people to violate their own consciences. Rather, I am pointing out the fact that when people who call themselves Christians do not put the Gospel teachings of Jesus on love, forgiveness, and a refusal to judge first of all, above every Old Testament rule and far above every Christian dogma, these people are not following Jesus at all.

And it is past time to call them out!

So, what would Jesus have us do? The beloved Teacher who made a point of harvesting heads of grain on the Sabbath, who dined with tax collectors and prostitutes and even insisted to the clergy of His day that these sinners would make it into the kingdom of God while the clergy were still wailing in the outer darkness: what do His words and His actions suggest about how we ought to be living our lives?

Of course, the question is its own answer.

It isn’t only Christians who are quick to judge, in defiance of the Lord’s command. You and I judge others every day! Looking down on and feeling superior to people who seem to be less virtuous than we are makes us all feel smugly righteous. But just as is true of a reluctance to forgive, our propensity to judge both harms ourselves and damages and delays the world’s willingness to accept at last the Lord’s Gospel truths. Jesus tells us in the Gospels that He judges no one, and God judges no one. Surely it is therefore our sacred duty never to judge anyone either! So in pure love for Jesus, bake a beautiful cake, arrange your best flowers, and attend the ceremony with hugs and lots of love all around. When you and I only love and forgive, when none of us ever presumes to judge, then we will be able to ever more perfectly share God’s love and light with all the world. Jesus calls us to “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (MT 5:16). As Jesus leads us now in uplifting the world, how can any of us still choose the petty pleasures of judging others over ever more perfectly reflecting only the Lord’s pure love and light?

 

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Better Understanding Consciousness

Watching mainstream science’s creaking and increasingly decrepit attempts to find a source of consciousness in the brain would be amusing, if it were not so sad. As recently as a decade ago, scientists still remained confident that since the brain must generate consciousness, of course that mechanism soon would be found; more and more now, though, the scientific community has begun to see that the answer to what they call “the hard problem” very sadly might forever elude them, just as the undeniable connection between quantum physics and the actions of the human mind may be forever a puzzlement. Oh, they still insist that the brain must somehow generate consciousness! But the smartest of them are coming to see that they may never figure out quite how it happens. Insofar as I have been able to determine, there still is no mainstream scientific theory that makes consciousness the ground of reality.

This fact is in itself astonishing! The idea that consciousness predates matter is not new. In fact, some of the greatest scientists of the past century have known or suspected that consciousness had to be primary. For example, Max Planck won the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics as the father of quantum mechanics. In 1931 Dr. Planck said, ”I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” He said in 1944, “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”

Albert Einstein, another Nobel laureate, never was quite so blunt as Dr. Planck, but apparently he had the same suspicions. For example, he said, “Our experience of separation may be an illusion of consciousness.” And, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Physicist Sir James Jeans simply said, “The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.”

The problem is that science is not the open-minded search for the truth that we so fondly wish it were. More than a century ago, the mainstream scientific gatekeepers – the university departments and the peer-reviewed journals – decided to make materialism a “core scientific dogma” in order to protect what they saw as the broad field of pure inquiry from the corrupting influence of religion, and to insulate scientists from any obligation to investigate the flood of good communications from the dead that were then being received. Those long-ago gatekeepers’ intentions seem to have been honorable when they took this step; but the plain fact is that anything based on a dogma is a belief-system, by definition. And a belief-system, be it religious or secular, will gradually become a fly in amber, insulated from new ideas that might potentially violate its dogmas and therefore more and more completely wrong.

Most honest scientists have long since come to see that materialism is a blind alley. In fact, even matter itself is not material in the sense of being actually solid! But with a century of scientific effort on the books that was largely based on a dead-end dogma, it is very hard for our scientific gatekeepers to pull an Emily Litella now and just say cheerily, “Never mind!”

Although most scientists cannot yet admit it, the best of them know that the jig is up. It has gotten to the point where almost the only ones defending materialism any more are sad and entirely closed-minded workhorses like Richard Dawkins, just old polemicists who have devoted their lives to defending materialism and are at this point reduced to trying to debunk bits of the tidal wave of contrary evidence that now engulfs them. Here is what the great Rupert Sheldrake has to say about one of his encounters with Dawkins.

Fortunately, there are some wonderful young scientists already working to put together humankind’s glorious post-dogmas future! The most promising of these is Bernardo Kastrup, a Dutch Ph.D. computer scientist with a specialty in artificial intelligence who is doing some amazing work. Four years ago, still in his thirties, he came up with a preliminary consciousness-based theory of everything. Then on April 29, 2019, Dr. Kastrup was awarded a second Ph.D., this one in the philosophy of mind and ontology. His new degree was awarded by no less than Radboud University, which is arguably the best classical university in the Netherlands. Bernardo’s thesis is a companion volume to his recent book, The Idea of the World: A Multi-Disciplinary Argument For the Mental Nature of Reality. And fortunately for us, his P.D. defense was in English, now science’s lingua franca. It’s technical, but it is spellbinding. Enjoy!

The greatest living scientist in this field is in fact not a traditional scientist. I first met Dr. R. Craig Hogan in 2008, when his wonderful book, Your Eternal Self, was just out; and I was so bowled over by his work that I invited him to Austin and sponsored his presentation in a substantial venue. We have become good friends, and he has been my guest on Seek Reality twenty-six times in the past six years. Amazingly, Craig is so natively brilliant, so expert in so many areas, that we have discussed something different in every one of those twenty-six Seek Reality interviews! Here is a lovely series of videos by Craig which demonstrate (a) that the mind is not inside the brain; (b) that the brain is unnecessary; and (c) that in fact there is nothing but mind and experience.

In fact, nothing else but consciousness exists. Our minds are part of that one consciousness, not as separate bits but in one indivisible whole; and since this is true, our minds are eternal. We cannot say this often enough! Your mind is where you always live, not only now but forevermore.

So the stranglehold that mainstream science has continued to hold on the truth about the primacy of consciousness is weakening, but it remains in place. And until trained scientists are free to study consciousness as more than the product of matter, they cannot be of much help to us in answering the most important questions. What is consciousness, anyway? How is it that consciousness brings forth reality? Since consciousness is all that exists, shouldn’t we try to better understand it? We won’t have definitive answers until we have the help of working physicists, but here is what the evidence indicates is true about whatever consciousness might be:

  • Consciousness is primary. As Max Planck noted a century ago, and as Bernardo Kastrup said as he defended his Ph.D. thesis this spring, we don’t need to look for a source of consciousness because it is primary. As Dr. Planck said, we cannot get behind it.
  • Consciousness is something like a form of energy. And like physical energies, it vibrates. It exists in a range of vibrations that we experience from fear at the slowest to love at the most rapid, and the higher its vibratory rate is, the more powerfully creative it is. At its highest vibration, the creative power of consciousness is apparently infinite.
  • Everything that we think of as real is not just created by consciousness, but in fact it is composed of consciousness. Rocks, trees, and every living thing: it is all consciousness. There is nothing else. Essentially, everything that we think exists is, as Dr. Jeans said, very much like part of a gigantic thought.
  • Consciousness has neither time nor space. In this, too, consciousness is like a thought. How big is a thought? How much time does it take?
  • Life is probably an aspect of consciousness. Another thing that frustrates scientists is the fact that, try as they might, they cannot figure out how life arose spontaneously from some primordial soup. The answer seems to be nothing more complicated than the fact that the soup itself was composed of consciousness, and life is consciousness, so the property of living was something inherent in that primordial soup itself.
  • All human minds are part of one consciousness, not as separate units but inextricably as one whole. This is the sort of thing that more advanced beings not in bodies would tell us not to puzzle over, since we won’t understand it until we return home and we again have access to our vast, eternal minds. For now, only know this is apparently true.

So then, what is consciousness? I will share with you again the best definition I have yet seen. Consciousness is an infinitely powerful and infinitely creative energy-like potentiality without size or form, alive in the sense that your mind is alive, highly emotional and therefore probably self-aware. That is not a scientific definition, but it will do until mainstream scientists begin to get a clue and can pitch in and help!

I hope you will take the time to watch all the videos linked above. In doing that, you will learn from an elder statesman so spiritually advanced that there are few at his level still living in a body. You will be privileged to meet, too, a brilliant young man who will be a leading contender for the eventual Nobel Prize to be awarded for a consciousness theory of everything. And in watching them, you will learn a lot more about consciousness than even the most illustrious working physicists could tell you now!

Spiritual Physics

I have written about spiritual physics before, but not as a primary topic. I try not to write about anything of which I am not confident, and spiritual physics is the mother lode and forest-dwelling beast of all topics! We know now what is at the root of reality, but there are still big gaps in our knowledge so I have been reluctant to tackle this head-on. But the base of all reality is spiritual, not material, and as is true of material physics, once you gain a simple understanding of what we might call spiritual physics, it then is possible to start to put together an understanding of what is true. Spirit – or consciousness – is what underlies and composes everything we think of as real, so until we have some sense of the physics that governs it, we can pretty much understand nothing about anything.

I still don’t want to tackle spiritual physics, but it seems to be an urgent topic as we try now to lift our consciousness vibrations sufficiently to make this our last necessary earth-lifetime. I am coming to realize that because our earth-minds are so limited and our perspective is so earth-based, unless we have some understanding of the way spiritual physics works, we are going to approach spiritual growth from the impossibly hard way around. Spiritual growth is not something we need to work at, but rather our spiritual vibratory rate is who we fundamentally are. Working actively to try to make ourselves more spiritual is the practical equivalent of approaching building a table by first planting a tree. In fact, real spiritual growth is easy, it’s rapid, and it takes little effort. We just have to stop doing what we can demonstrate now does not work, and simply begin to do today what is consistent with the laws of spiritual physics.

The truth is that you already are capable of functioning at the level of the Godhead.

Spiritual growth is simply the process of remembering who and what you are.

The greatest privilege this work has brought me is the fact that I hear from strangers every day. And of late, more and more spiritual seekers have been asking me variations of what is really humankind’s core everyday question: how can we ever grow spiritually when life keeps getting in the way?

I received a particularly heartbreaking email this week that I will quote here, revised and in brief:

“What hope or insights can you give to an older man who suffers from cancer, a brain tumor, and early dementia? I am tired, almost defeated, and dismayed with myself that I signed up for this much struggle! I am not afraid of much anymore, except the thought of coming back to this planet. After thirty years of meditation, books, prayer, and taking classes I feel that I have regressed spiritually. Prayers and meditation don’t seem to work anymore. I have tried to connect with my guides without success. I feel overwhelmed with the need to overcome negativity, as you say, especially when I am so angry with myself for having chosen all of this. I also feel overwhelmed by the massive pain and suffering on this planet. So, I feel really stymied.”

Do you hear anything of yourself in his plea? If you do, then this answer I am writing for him also is being written for you.

Here are four basic facts that everyone on earth needs to understand:

  • What we experience in a limited way as consciousness is the base creative force that continuously manifests this universe. Some say consciousness actually is God, and therefore all of reality is essentially a thought in the mind of God; but thinking this way keeps God as a creative being both different from and separate from us. At this point, that doesn’t seem to be what God really is or how God works.
  • Consciousness is an infinitely powerful and infinitely creative energy-like potentiality. It is not a form of energy as we understand energy, and in fact it really seems to be not like anything else with which we are familiar.
  • Our minds are all part of that base creative consciousness, not divisibly but as one whole. One of the confounding things about doing this work is the fact that apparently some things are both true and not-true from our narrow earth-perspective, and this is one of those things! Your mind remains “you,” while at the same time it blends with the base creative consciousness and with every other human mind the way waters blend when they are poured into a river.
  • Consciousness exists in a range of vibrations. Those not in bodies refer to vibrations, and in the afterlife levels those vibrations can be more intensely felt. On earth we experience the vibratory range internally, from the lowest (which is fear and anger) to the highest (which is perfect love).

Please read this list again until you know it by heart. Until you do,  none of the rest is likely to make much sense to you.

Spiritual growth is the process of raising your personal consciousness vibration away from fear and toward more perfect love. That’s it! Just a matter of consciousness physics. Spiritual growth is internal and organic: it isn’t something you can learn or buy. And because it is internal, you can’t fake it for long. What happens if you try to fake it is that sooner or later your nice exterior persona gets poked by the simple negativity of human life, and the fear-based tiger that you still are inside starts to roar. In my experience, people who try to fake it – and many more are doing that now – will hit what might appear to us to be a relatively trivial problem, and they will unexpectedly explode with rage. If you ever experience a rush of any negative emotion at all, that is your certain sign that you haven’t so far made the spiritual progress you had hoped to make!

So, how can you really make this happen? The key to success is your understanding that spiritual growth is internal! There are many activities that make us feel spiritual, and that our society defines as spiritual. But in practice, since they cannot elevate our internal vibrations, they cannot do more than to calm us, to elevate our mood, and perhaps to give us more information. All are useful to our temporal selves, but when we are trying to elevate our personal consciousness vibrations so we can make of this our last earth-lifetime while we also help to raise the consciousness vibrations of this planet, none of the following practices can be of much help:

  • Religions. Every modern religion is fear-based. So religions cannot raise your consciousness vibration, and accumulating what we might call religious merit can be of no spiritual help. In fact, religions operate in direct opposition to fostering our spiritual growth.
  • Meditation. Many people swear by meditation! It calms us, and it can be of help when we are working toward communicating more actively with our spirit guides. But meditation has little or no effect on our personal consciousness vibrations.
  • Singing and chanting. Some religions use songs and chanting to synchronize us spiritually and to elevate our mood, and that works very well! But when the singing stops, we return to our base internal consciousness setting.
  • Listening to or reading spiritual wisdom. I discovered Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet when I was in college, and for many years I considered it to be the height of spiritual wisdom. It may be that, but reading any kind of spiritual wisdom and trying to follow whatever it teaches cannot materially raise your internal spiritual vibration.

Then what does work to actually elevate your personal consciousness setting? There may be other options, but the only process I ever have found that actually, materially, and permanently can raise your personal vibration is this:

  • Extinguish your ego. Your ego is not you at all, but rather it is a fear-based gremlin that will fight your attempts to grow spiritually because your spiritual growth will be its extinction. I wrote about the ego six months ago, and I urge you to use that information.
  • Clean up your living room. You cannot raise your consciousness vibration if you keep filling your mind with negative garbage!
  • Develop an attitude of gratitude. When your mind is in a constant state of gratitude for everything, how ever small, you heavily predispose it toward love and away from all forms of negativity.
  • Learn and practice prevenient forgiveness. This is the key Gospel teaching, and if it were all that Jesus ever taught it would be enough to transform the world. Re-training your mind so it never again reacts with anger, no matter what happens, turns out to be the literal key to raising your spiritual vibration!
  • Eagerly foster your every natural impulse toward loving other people.  Your love for all your family and friends will be on a much sounder basis now. You will be more patient with them, kinder, and no longer at all judgmental. What I found was that over a few months’ time after I began my forgiveness practice, my husband, my children, my grandchildren and friends all became very much nicer people! I know this seems stupid, but I saw this rather dramatic change just in retrospect. And when you strictly practice prevenient forgiveness, within months you might find – quite unexpectedly – that even random strangers are a whole lot nicer. Just a few months into my forgiveness practice I was feeling touched with empathy and love for even random strangers passing on the street.

And it makes sense, doesn’t it? When you are freed from negativity and all false beliefs, your personal spiritual vibration that has all along been artificially suppressed will begin to rise naturally, much as a bubble freed in water will naturally rise toward the light. Be patient with yourself! See any burst of anger or fear to be just a temporary setback, and simply double down on the five steps outlined above. You are eternally as perfect as the Godhead! Spiritual growth is only the process of reclaiming what you already are.

 

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Leveling Up

Ours is the first generation to understand why human beings even come to earth at all. Jesus told us two thousand years ago that we are here to grow spiritually to the point where we can achieve while on earth the consciousness vibration of the sixth level of the greater reality. He called it “bringing the kingdom of God on earth,” but His teachings soon were buried deep in Christian dogmas and largely ignored. It is only very recently that information gleaned from nearly two hundred years of abundant and consistent communications from people that we used to think were dead has been compared with what Jesus tells us in the Gospels. So it is only now that researchers have come to realize that Jesus is precisely right!

We enter these lifetimes very much as we might come to a spiritual gym. There is so little negativity in what we still call the afterlife that until we are very well developed spiritually it really is only here that we can stress ourselves with negativity and learn to surmount it with love, and thereby we can grow spiritually. Together with our spirit guides, and with the people who will be important in this lifetime and their guides, we plan earth-lives full of negativity against which we are eager to match ourselves, lives crammed with the very kinds of events that seem to prove there can be no God who loves us. We might plan a bout with cancer and the death of a child plus a major mental handicap; or perhaps we might just plan repeated financial setbacks and a faithless spouse. We gleefully plan the sorts of awful lives that can help us grow by spiritual leaps and bounds! Of course, until early in this new century so few people understood why we come here that too often very challenging lives would defeat people rather than helping them grow. But fortunately, of late a great many more of us have a sense of why we come to earth; and now, only very recently, some of the over-achievers among us have begun to want to find a way that they can make this incarnation their final earth-lifetime.

A few weeks ago I shared with commenters here the fact that someone had asked me by email a fairly simple question. He had said, “So, if I want to make the most spiritual progress, does this mean I have to neglect all other goals in life and focus exclusively on spiritual growth? … Do you think this would be enough for me to achieve the upper sixth level?”

To be frank, we simply don’t know enough to speak knowledgeably about the upper sixth level. The only being of whom I am aware who has achieved that lofty perch and speaks to us from there is Mikey Morgan, whose book is Flying High in Spirit. If you haven’t read it, put it on your list! My primary guide, Thomas, tells me that the being who incarnated as Mikey Morgan had already attained the lower sixth level some four hundred earth-years after he had ceased to incarnate in the 1600s; but like many at his level, he was fretting about us. So he took a brief additional lifetime on earth that ended just over a decade ago in order to better make sense of us, and so he would be able to teach us from there in terms that we would understand. And apparently his undertaking that journey for us was such a spiritually powerful act that Thomas now assures us that upon his return Mikey Morgan in fact achieved the upper sixth level. Today he answers questions through his earth-mother, Carol, on afterlifeforums.com. I don’t believe that anyone has directly asked him how he managed to attain the sixth level, but here are two recent relevant answers:

How does time fit with spiritual growth?

Carol always types out Mikey’s answers. To address this question she wrote, “Believe me, I don’t get this either! I have asked Mikey to explain this in the easiest way he can think of, so here goes: First of all, we are in the human state that only understands things under the laws of time. Our brains cannot grasp being without it. Mikey tells me to think of a balloon that represents an individual that is eternal. We always are and always will be. We simply exist! Now think of all our life journeys and experiences. Our reactions (which are based on vibration) are added to this balloon. As we add to this balloon, it rises with vibrations that are high (more loving), or sinks with vibrations that are low (non-loving). But, the balloon is a constant and eternal being. Time itself, or no time, has nothing to do with what is added to it. Only our actions have bearing on what is added to the balloon. Mikey tells me time here gives ‘structure’, but in the afterlife dimensions, it is vibration that gives ‘structure’. The balloon rises with love, and sinks without! But it is eternal, and always is. Doesn’t age. Is always present. Hope this helps some!”

Does meditation help us grow spiritually?

In response, Carol wrote for Mikey, “Meditation in and of itself does not give spiritual progression. It is our actions, choices, and how we love and treat others that ultimately makes the difference, according to Mikey. Positive ways progress us spiritually. Increase our vibration. (Remember, everything is energy.) Meditation is good for us to gain guidance and to reconnect with our inner self. It is whatever works for any one individual. Being open and connecting to our guidance is definitely helpful for us. No one type of meditation is better than another if the individual gains the benefit of guidance that has love as the basis, according to Mikey.”

Thomas tells me that sixth-level spiritual development approaches the level of the Godhead. Accordingly, achieving it is going to require some added learning and perfecting after we have ceased incarnating, so we cannot make it there directly from here. Thomas has reluctantly answered my questions about where his own development is now by telling me that he didn’t cease incarnating until he had achieved what we call the upper fifth level. Since we cannot get to level six in one leap, he has refined our question to one that he feels that he can realistically answer. That question is this: “How can we grow enough spiritually in this incarnation to make this our last necessary lifetime, after which we can achieve further spiritual growth exclusively in the afterlife levels?”

Thomas is amazingly versed in modern culture for someone who died a century ago! He refers to this process as “leveling up,” which is a term I had to check with Mr. Google. Apparently “leveling up” is a videogaming term that refers to achieving the next level of difficulty, so indeed it makes perfect sense in this case. Thomas tells me that his last earth-incarnation ended only a half-century before he undertook guiding me through this lifetime, so he well understands both the wish to put returning to earth behind you, and the urgency to move ever higher that prompted him to undertake one additional earth-lifetime following his having been Thomas Jefferson. He felt that the power he had used in his Jefferson lifetime had so unbalanced him spiritually that he needed an extra very humble lifetime to bring him back into sufficient balance to make his subsequent growth in the afterlife levels easier.

Our post last week is the first part of Thomas’s answer to his proposed question about how you can make this your last necessary lifetime. He says that until you have learned to reject all the negativity that is rampant in our society, it is going to be impossible for you to rise above the need to reincarnate. Then once the living room of your mind has been cleansed of all negativity, you can use the Gospel teachings of Jesus – and especially His teachings on forgiveness – to proof your mind against all sources of negativity forevermore! And then, as Mikey tells us above, once you are living in love alone, your mind will be able to rise like a spiritual balloon. Our book, The Fun of Growing Forever, is Thomas’s effort to help modern people to better understand and apply the Lord’s Gospel teachings.

So, how does it feel to be sufficiently developed spiritually that you may be able to make this earth-incarnation your last? Thomas tells me now that I have been his test subject for the past two decades. Twenty years ago he guided me to stop TV, movies, newspapers, and all other negative inputs; then eight years ago he taught me the necessity of living in prevenient forgiveness. From that point on, I actually have been able to feel my vibration rising! Of course, I am an experiment of one, but the primary thing that I noticed first was that nothing seemed to bother me anymore. And my family and friends were a whole lot nicer, without their having had to change at all! If anyone was negative to me, I felt so singed that all I could do was withdraw. Spiritual growth is remarkably self-reinforcing, since the first thing it does is to make you allergic to the very negativity you came to earth to resist.

Here is a story I heard long ago that was meant to illustrate an advanced stage of spiritual development. For most of my life I didn’t get this at all! A holy hermit in India counseled people at the mouth of his mountain cave, and one day a group of outraged villagers brought him a newborn whose young mother had claimed this hermit had raped her. The villagers insisted he must rear the child. He said just, “Oh?” with a smile, and he took the baby into his arms. As the boy grew, the hermit came to love him as if he really were his own son, and as he counseled the villagers at the mouth of his cave his precious little charge would be there beside him. Then when the child was six, a group came up from the village to confront him again. They apologized and told him the mother was about to be married, she had confessed that the hermit was not the boy’s father, and now she was reclaiming her child. To this, the hermit who loved the boy said only, “Oh?” with that same enigmatic smile, and he blessed the child and sent him off, never to see him again. All I can say is that for decades I could not fathom this story! I mean, yes, I understood the man’s acceptance of a baby that no one else wanted. I even got that he wasn’t going to blame the mother for her lie. But how could her taking away this child that he loved so much not matter to him? It was only as I was growing spiritually that I came to fathom the extraordinary peace that becomes who you really are at your core when you are sufficiently spiritually advanced. Nothing negative can touch you now! Love is all that is, and all that ever will be. I see now that he never lost that child at all.

So, go for it! Once you are on a stable path toward avoiding negativity forevermore, use the Gospel teachings of Jesus to raise your spiritual vibration toward ever more perfect love. This fall Thomas plans to publish The Fun of Loving Jesus – Embracing the Christianity That Jesus Taught so we can help you as you continue this process. He assures me that twenty years ago I was no better developed spiritually than anyone reading these words would be now, but thanks to his having experimented with my life he now says this will be my last necessary earth-lifetime. He tells me he expects that I will come back for one additional lifetime in order to teach, and of course I tell him not to bet on that! But if I can make this my last earth-lifetime, then very easily so can you.

 

Filling balloons photo credit: Evangelio Gonzalez MD <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/11090497@N06/31168000858″>Air balloon, Villa Rica, Ga.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Hot-air balloons photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7156765@N05/47923604631″>Adirondack Mountains – Whiteface Mountain – Lake Placid – New York- – Hot Air Balloons</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Humpty balloon photo credit: Diann Bayes <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/144032585@N06/44537591414″>Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2018</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Pig photo credit: Diann Bayes <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/144032585@N06/30321041657″>Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2018</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

Your Living Room

The most important thing you can do for your own happiness and for the health of the world is to begin right now to clean out and tidy up your mind. This didn’t seem to be important back when we thought each mind was a temporary artifact generated by each separate brain, with perhaps a part that carried on to sing forever at the feet of God. It was fine back then to fill your own mind with garbage. Nobody ever would know! You could compartmentalize your mind perhaps, have a place where you prepared uplifting sentences for public conversations, and also deep crannies where you could keep the detritus of videogames and horror movies and where you could cherish your various hatreds. You could keep your insecurities hidden there, too. Each of us went about our days projecting success in all that we did, while from our failure crannies came the certainty that any minute now something was going to happen that would show us to be frauds and fools. Back then, your mind was your mind alone! And so long as you carefully managed all your public interactions, it was nobody’s business what you were thinking.

But now everything has changed! What our study of the afterlife and the greater reality has taught us about the nature of our minds means that none of our old assumptions is true. Among other things, we have learned that:

  • The only thing that actually exists is what we experience in a limited way as consciousness. For convenience, let’s call that great consciousness Mind. Now we know that there is only one Mind, and the one Mind continuously manifests everything that we think is real.
  • Eternal Mind is powerful! Insofar as we are able to determine, its power is literally infinite.
  • The mind that you experience while you are in a body is perhaps twenty percent of your actual mind. The rest of your vast, eternal mind is left behind when you come to earth. One of the first things that happen when you return to the afterlife – which we really should be calling our real life – is that you merge back into the rest of your mind, so suddenly you have a lot more memories. And you feel absolutely brilliant!
  • All of our own minds are inextricably part of that one eternal Mind. The implications of this fact are manifold and even troubling, but they are inescapable now. Your mind is not in any sense private.
  • Since our minds are all part of a single Mind, they interact and work together beneath our awareness. Leading modern researchers like Lynne McTaggart have demonstrated over and over again that the intentions of a number of minds together can have amazingly powerful effects. And every horror this world faces now is simply the result of the interactions of billions of minds whose proprietors have allowed them to fill up with and then project fear, violence, and hatred.
  • Whatever is in your mind is readily accessible to beings who are not now in bodies. The extent to which this is true is something I have never wanted to know, but the fact of it should not surprise us. The Godhead can access your mind, as can your spirit guides, as can some others who are not now in bodies. What seems to be the case is that a being not in a body who has a good reason to access your mind is able to do it easily, but I don’t think you need to worry that dead Aunt Mildred is rummaging around to learn what you really thought of her and what your kinkiest fantasies might be.
  • Your mind is eternal. Far from shriveling into a soul when your body dies, your mind will go on to inhabit your post-death body essentially intact! And wouldn’t it have to be that way? How could you be “you” in the afterlife if only some aspects of your mind moved on? But because this is true, you will be living in your present mind essentially forever. And knowing this starts you thinking hard about where you would prefer to spend your eternity. In a paradise? Or in what is almost a sewer?

It was when I fully grasped those last three points that I realized it was finally time to clean up my act. If I will be living in this mind forever, then I ought to make it a happier place! If my mind is generating good or evil in the world, then I want to clean it up for the sake of my grandchildren. And if important people not now in bodies can readily know what I am thinking, then my mind really isn’t only my mind, is it? Actually, it’s more like my living room. It’s where I spend most of my time, where I entertain my spirit guides, where I meet with God (if I meet with God), and where my dead mother and friends might visit. It was about twenty years ago that I re-thought everything about my mind, including even the way that I think.

For me to share this process with you would have felt uncomfortable twenty years ago, for all the reasons given in that first paragraph. But one of the fruits of cleaning up your mental living room is that you are always ready now to welcome every guest! Now I have no mental secrets, so please come on in, take a comfy chair, and have a cup of tea. I am going to suggest that you do just what I did, and I am happy to assure you that it has been easy. Here are all the right steps to take:

  • Begin to live with the top of your head wide open. I was still religious when I began this project, so I called it “living with an open prayer line.” I realize now that what I really was doing was inviting my own guides into my mind and asking them to help me clean up this mess. That image that the top of your head is just a big open circle so anyone can come right in seemed powerful to me. It was a symbolic yielding. I kept re-imagining it many times each day, until eventually everything was so tidy that I no longer needed it.
  • Stop all media. No more TV, movies, or radio. If social media had existed at the time, or if I had played videogames, I would have stopped all of that as well. Since TV had been integral to my life, it amazes me now to realize that I never have missed it at all! If I want to see a movie that I have been assured is not negative, I still will do that. I have seen Avatar, Green Book, Last Vegas, and maybe a dozen other movies in the past two decades. But now I have whole blissful hours to read and write, and to create! Every one of my books from The Fun of Dying forward was written after I got rid of media. I have given myself the luxury of time and a beautiful work-space that I control, and I cannot begin to express to you the positive difference this has made in my life!
  • Strictly Police your Internet use. If you still read newspapers, then police those, too. Your goal is to absorb zero negativity, and the Internet is a negativity sewer! Apparently now and then there has been news here and there over the past two decades? I assume my friends and family have adequately briefed me on all the big stuff. And if future things happen that are not big enough for the people in your life to bother sharing then with you, then why ever would you want to let any of those things pollute your mind?
  • Police your relationships. Many of us have people in our lives who are downers and drags for us. You cannot entirely avoid family members, but you ought to gradually and sweetly find ways to minimize your contacts with every negative person who is now in your life.
  • Police your thoughts. We used to think we could let our thoughts run wild! But now, doing that is the equivalent of letting a herd of demented puppies run around your living room. Never again! From now on, whenever you have a thought that is negative, whether it is defeatist (I’ll never get that raise), angry (that big jerk!), disparaging (my brother is a loser), hate-filled (those ____ are evil), or simply a downer (I hate rainy days), then immediately counter it with something positive. “I’ll find a much better job!” “That poor man is having an awful day.” “My brother needs cheering up.” “I want to better understand those ____.” There is not much you can do about rainy days, so what I do is consider rain to be my permission to goof off. It’s raining! YAYY! I can watch a movie, hang around with my husband, take a quick store trip, or chat with friends. If you are on a work-clock, you might just have a special “rain snack.” The point is to counter every negative thought right away with something positive.
  • Invite your primary guide to have complete access to your mind. For this lifetime, it is his or her living room, too. I used to fret about the private things that people in bodies have to do, but my guide assures me that his tribe has no interest in watching us in the bathroom or in the bedroom. But many people have a rich fantasy life, Thomas? What about that? Apparently our guides try to avoid our fantasies, but they cannot avoid them altogether. What I have found is that random fantasizing has declined for me as my vibration has risen, except that I can use it as a sleeping pill. When I am having trouble falling asleep, I can think, “I’m about to have that fantasy you hate!” And generally I am out like a light.
  • Give up on religions. This is optional, but I urge you to try it. Religions are fear-based, which means that all religions will drag you down spiritually. For Christians, the fact that you can have a much better relationship with the genuine Jesus once you are no longer God-fearing seems to provide a powerful incentive for you to take the Lord’s hand now and let Him lead you into a deeper understanding of the genuine God Who is perfect love.
  • Be patient, and be positive. Remember, you are always in control! If there is something – perhaps videogames – that you worry about missing, just tell yourself you are giving them up for a week. And then for another week. It’s like giving up drinking: you are in control, and you are choosing to do this so you can improve your life. If you fall off the wagon, shrug and get back on. What I found was that filling my evenings with doing fun things that had been piling up because watching TV had gotten in the way made my transition from TV both easy and happy. Where my husband was concerned, I just said, “You watch that show, darling. I’ve got some reading (or writing, or phone calls) to catch up on.” Don’t announce to anyone your intention to possibly give up on a lot of things. Move your family and friends into your new stage of life naturally, without pressures or expectations.

It is impossible to expose your mind to negativity without becoming more negative yourself. When you cleanse your living room of all negativity and then rigorously protect it, you will find that your personal vibration will begin to rise naturally. You will feel more peaceful, more positive, and so much happier! You even may begin to find the time and the desire to pursue your own glorious quest to do something truly wonderful. There is no richer earthly joy than living for a cause that is greater than yourself! If I had not taken these steps two decades ago, I never could have written even one Fun book. Nor could I have done six years of podcasts, or written almost two hundred blog posts. If I had not cleaned up my living room, then you and I would have lived and died without our ever having shared this beautiful connection.

 

Old Room photo credit: romanboed <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/92082510@N04/16532481487″>Living Room</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Puppies photo credit: susie2778 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/31018850@N04/46842662761″>Puppies at Lake Kerkini</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Elegant Room photo credit: romanboed <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/92082510@N04/26070481096″>The Library at the Alchymist Hotel Prague Castle</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

What the Spirit Says to the Churches

There are more than forty thousand versions of Christianity worldwide.  Many are the size of a single building, but a few are gigantic: the Catholic Church has 1.2 billion members, and the United Methodist Church alone has more than twelve million members worldwide. Most of the differences among denominations are minor, but they are enough to convince many devout Christians that hell yawns before many other devout Christians. And this awful fracturing continues apace! A decade ago there were about ten thousand versions of Christianity. Who can guess how many more there will be in another ten years’ time?

This endless splitting-apart of Christians over doctrinal disagreements has a long history. Among the earliest followers of the Lord’s Way, differences of opinion about even core details were peacefully allowed, so long as the Lord’s teachings were followed. But then came the Council of Nicaea in 325, and six more councils over half a millennium, all of which codified the Lord’s Way into just one set of acceptable beliefs. This newly unified Christian religion then abolished all of what it considered to be heretical ideas, and often in horrific ways.

The most recent major rift in what Christians still call the Body of Christ occurred early in 2019. The United Methodist Church is the largest mainline protestant denomination in the United States, and it has fallen into bitter disunion over the issue of homosexuality. At a meeting meant to heal the rift, those who wanted to allow the ordination of homosexual clergy and the legalization of homosexual marriage were voted down, so now a split seems inevitable. It was delegates from developing countries who killed the idea of accepting homosexuals. Jerry Kulah, the head of the UMC Africa Initiative, was delighted to say, “I’m happy to go back to old ladies and old men in villages who received the Bible from missionaries and let them know that the Bible hasn’t changed.”

“The Bible hasn’t changed.” Once again, the Old Testament was used to beat down the Lord’s central message that God’s Law is love. To this day, devotion to the Old Testament is allowed to further split the Body of Christ, even though Jesus Himself freed us to throw the Old Testament out the window! When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (MT 22:37-40).

So Jesus told us two thousand years ago that He was giving us God’s new revelation that every rule and law in the entire Old Testament must be seen as subservient to God’s Law of Love! Yet Christians still allow this endless splintering, even though as Jesus prepared His followers for His crucifixion He prayed that we would remain forever united in perfect love. He said to God, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one” (JN 17:22). To His disciples He said, I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (JN 13:34-35). One wonders whether these essential words of Jesus ever have been read by any leader of the now forever disunited United Methodist Church!

The primary reason for this ongoing splintering of Christianity is the fact that some denominations persist in claiming that the whole Christian Bible as it was first assembled almost two thousand years ago is still and must forever remain God’s Inspired Inerrant Word. As a result, Christians will insist to you that their religion must forever condemn homosexuality because the Old Testament says, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death” (Lev 20:13). But the Old Testament is full of such outmoded nonsense! And in fact, even the most Bible-obsessed Christians feel free now to ignore many of the worst Old Testament laws. For example, if a girl is taken to wife and found to be not a virgin, then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death” (Deut 22: 21). And if a son is rebellious, “then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown. They shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death” (Deut 21:19-21). When you ask Bible-believing Christians why they aren’t stoning their rebellious sons and their daughters found to be not virgin, they will tell you those laws no longer apply. So why then is the law against homosexuality still so strictly enforced? The only difference that I can see is that stoning people to death has for quite a while been a violation of civil laws, while until very recently the shunning of homosexuals was an accepted social norm. And if that is what makes the distinction, Christians, then Jesus is saying to you now, “You hypocrites! Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (MT 15:7-9).

I don’t know how much clearer Jesus could have made His core revelation from God that religious laws are no longer inviolate. Repeatedly He broke the Sabbath laws, insisting that love is more important. “Have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (MT 12:5-8). And Jesus despised religious traditions! “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men… You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition” (MK 7:8-9).

At the root of this ongoing Christian fracturing is Bible-believing Christians’ refusal to confront one core question.

DOES GOD HAVE THE RIGHT TO GIVE US NEW REVELATION?

For those who insist that God gave us His final word two thousand years ago, it is past time to face this issue frankly. Is there, or is there not a still-living and all-powerful God? And just how clearly must God speak before Christians will listen and obey? Jesus tells us plainly in the Gospels that He came to replace the Old Testament laws with God’s new Law of Love. But then of course the old religious culture still remained strong in people’s minds, so after the Lord’s crucifixion God reinforced His new Law of Love by channeling through the Apostle Paul this extraordinary message that puts God’s Word as plainly as it ever could have been said!

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1Cor 13).

If you doubt this passage was divinely channeled, just look at what comes before it and after it! All churchy blather, then a quick transition: “All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way” (1Cor 12:29-31). Then after the miracle of 1Cor 13, Paul goes right back to talking about the same tongues-and-prophesy gibberish that God’s channeled message has just decried: “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation” (1Cor 14:1-4).

God’s direct Word was shoehorned into human ignorance here, without question!

A God Who cannot give us new revelations as we grow beyond speaking, thinking, and reasoning as spiritual children is not a God worthy of our worship. And the genuine God Who is all that exists revealed to us two thousand years ago through the ministry of Jesus Christ the fundamental truth that love is all! When we needed to have that truth reinforced, God channeled it again through the Apostle Paul.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:29, 3:6, 3:13, 3:22). If Christians will not unite in obedience to God’s revealed Law of Love, then Christianity will continue to die this dismal death of forty thousand cuts. Then soon, at last, those who follow Jesus will come together and begin to share God’s Law of Love with all the world!

 

Church photo credit: cattan2011 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/68166820@N08/40738628023″>Cherry blossoms, Saint Michael on Greenhill, Lichfield, England</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Working With Your Primary Spirit Guide (Part II)

You have an intimate friend who loves you and is devoting your lifetime to helping you thrive. Your spirit guide operates in your mind, coaches and encourages you, and patiently helps you to learn and grow spiritually. Your primary guide is your biggest fan! And perhaps best of all, your guide is your intimate connection with the Godhead. I wondered as a child how God could answer the prayers of all the world’s children at once, and you likely have wondered about that, too, so it’s good to have this question answered. Since all our minds are aspects of the Godhead, the fact that your spirit guide acts for God in your life is the same as God’s acting directly.

This whole plan looks like perfection to me, so I am surprised to find that there are some to whom the fact that each of us has a primary spirit guide doesn’t feel like good news. My own guide tells me that as this planet’s consciousness vibration continues to rise and more people begin to hear from their primary guides in their waking lives, there is going to be confusion and fear on the part of some for whom this is a new concept. They might worry that God is policing them. They might feel entirely creeped-out. A few might see their spirit guides as invaders to be actively fought. Thomas is sensitive to our need not to overburden people, so he wants to begin this education gently. Here is what he wants to make sure that you know:

  • You cannot be in a physical body for long without a spirit guide. Your primary guide’s role is to assist you in making and then in fulfilling your plan for this lifetime; and while most of this work happens in face-to-face meetings while your body sleeps, it also happens throughout the day in little mental nudges and ideas, perhaps in flashes of inspiration, in feelings of anxiety or regret, in a song in your mind, and in surges of emotion. You long have thought these messages were coming entirely from your own mind, but that has never been the case. Your spirit guide is your mentor and protector, your intimate contact with the living God, and the most devoted friend you have.
  • Your primary guide deeply understands and completely loves you, no matter what. As you look around and read the news, you can see people giving their guides a hard time, ignoring their prompts to stick to their plans and even doing some terrible things. We have free will while we are in bodies, so we can choose to ignore our guides; but still, they will faithfully continue to try to understand and love and  help us. There are cases in the literature where someone has chosen to become so irredeemably evil that a spirit guide felt overwhelmed and chose to be replaced by a being more senior; but such cases are rare. Your spirit guide’s own development will be aided by your spiritual growth, so there is no one in heaven or on earth who is more eager to see you thrive!
  • Your spirit guide will work with you in whatever way makes you most comfortable. If you prefer to work with your guide beneath your daytime radar, nearly always that will be just fine, the exception being when you are balking at doing something your guide thinks is important. It was because I was refusing to follow a key aspect of my plan to help others that my primary guide first broke into my life to insist that I write Liberating Jesus. But if after having been directly reminded that I had promised to help with that book, I still had chosen to refuse the role, my free will would have been respected. Thomas tells me now that someone else would have been found to complete my task. And he still would have loved me, regardless!

Having a spirit guide is not optional. I long have believed that being in a body without a guide is incompatible with life, but Thomas tells me now that there have been a few people who have adamantly refused guidance. Apparently, though, if we manage to drive away every guide who tries to help us, we will begin a rapid decline. The consequence of your rejecting all guidance would be your deterioration and early death.

So even if the notion of having a spirit guide makes you uncomfortable, I hope you can learn to enjoy this relationship that exists to help you make the most of this lifetime.

And if you are game to try for a more interactive daytime relationship with your guide, here are some tips on how you might begin it.

Ask questions at night and look for answers in the morning. This is the easiest way to request the help of your primary guide, and it works so well that for most of my life it was the only way I ever reached out to Thomas. Whenever you want to involve your guide, simply state a question clearly as the last thing you do before falling asleep. Then pay attention to your first thoughts in the morning. In fact, pay attention to those first thoughts even if you haven’t asked a question, since on occasion your guide will want you to remember something from your nightly meetings. Be patient when it comes to questions asked, since it can take as much as a month or more for this method to begin to work well; but once you and your guide have synced the process, you never again in your life will make a major decision without first “sleeping on it.” Your guide will continue to nudge you in the daytime, and if you don’t want to think of your spirit guide as a separate being, you can just keep on assuming that those little nudges and flashes of intuition are coming from your own mind. So long as you continue to follow your plan, your guide will be happy to work beneath your radar.

Consider whether you want your primary guide to be more of a separate presence with whom you can actively interact. If you want that, you can have it; and your first task will be to learn to tell the two of you apart! I still consider myself to be as psychic as a post, so if I can do this, so can you. To begin it, tell your guide aloud that you are trying to better perceive his daytime communications. Don’t assume that your guide is reading your mind, since our guides try to give us personal privacy. Once your guide knows what you are attempting to do, then give yourself a number of weeks during which you will:

  • Check for his presence often. I soon realized that whenever I checked, he was just behind my left shoulder. Even if I was against a wall! “Thomas?” I would think, and there he would be, as distinct a feeling as if a living person were standing there.
  • Pause often and feel for your guide’s reaction to whatever you are saying or doing. This really helps you sort your thoughts from his. I tend to be impulsive and grandiose, but Thomas is a much more careful thinker; like all guides, too, he is in active possession of his eternal mind, so he is a whole lot smarter! He is coaxing me now to write on my own so he is respectful about making changes, but I am so aware of him and I rely so much on his wisdom now that I won’t post a blog entry or submit any other piece of writing until he is at peace with it.
  • Accept the fact that what you think of as your own intuition actually comes from your guide. Assume you have no intuition! When you have an uneasy feeling, when you feel attracted to or repelled by an idea, when you reflexively like or dislike someone, those feelings are probably nudges from your guide. And your guide is generally right. When you have made a firm habit of continuously checking and relying upon your guide’s opinions, everything in your life is going to be easier!
  • Learn to interact smoothly with all your guides. Many of us have additional guides, each of whom has a limited purpose. They generally work through our primary guide, so we seldom are much aware of them. In some cases, though, we might have a separate team of guides who work more independently under our primary guide’s control; and in my case, I have a fiction-writing team that is headed by a woman named Marvina. I have been play-writing fiction for forty years, for the fun of it and also because Marvina says it relaxes me. Perhaps you also have a team that helps you with some special interest or hobby, but in all things your primary guide is going to be foremost in your life.
  • Your guide’s help might make you feel at first that you just have an overactive imagination. In fact, what we think of as our imagination seems to be where our guides blend with us, to the point where therapists who are seeking information from our guides will simply ask us to imagine that our guide is talking. Then sure enough, he does exactly that.
  • Try to accept your guide’s personal preferences. After all, our guides are people, too! They will try to abide by our preferences, but their work with us will go more easily if we will eventually learn to defer and let them lead this dance. Thomas is serious by nature, so he didn’t much like having to answer my trivial questions through a medium; it also irritated him no end that I kept wanting to talk about Thomas Jefferson. He was a good sport at first, but before long he was refusing to speak with me through any medium. I sulked. But he was adamant, so at his insistence I followed the steps that he has outlined for us here, and I have to agree – he is smiling to see me admit this – that now our relationship does work better.

Give this new stage of your relationship with your primary guide sufficient time to grow. It took me months of careful testing before I was sure that I was hearing Thomas and understanding what he was saying, and it likely will take you awhile as well. At this point I trust him more than I trust myself, but as with friends in bodies our trust in our guides has to develop over time. Don’t push it! And try not to fall in love. Beings who are not in bodies tend to express a preferred gender even up to the vibratory level of the Godhead, and many spirit guidance pairs are cross-gender. To discover unexpectedly that there is a member of the opposite sex who is interesting and very bright and is devoted to loving and guiding you creates a situation that is almost tailor-made for you to fall in love. During our period of communicating through a medium, I was kind of crushing on Thomas, which irritated him since he still sees me as his male comrade through many lifetimes. You likely won’t have the added burden of knowing your guide has had a famous past lifetime, so for you this process should be easier.

This method of developing an active daytime relationship with your primary guide works well even if you are not a sensitive and your guide is like Thomas, who prefers to act within. Some guides, though, are much more open. As the consciousness vibration of this planet rises, I am hearing from people whose guides are speaking directly to them now, and upon receiving an invitation they are almost taking over their proteges’ lives. If this happens to you, then it’s fine to invite your guide to lead the dance. Be very respectful. And be grateful. For these beautiful beings to be devoting so much of themselves to helping you and me is the greatest possible gift!

 

Canopy of Trees photo credit: mag3737 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50318388@N00/46349833485″>Canopy</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

War Face photo credit: smileham <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/58472333@N00/3358153294″>17/365 War Face</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Female Guide photo credit: VladimirTro <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/149732725@N08/34708845702″>Anna</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>