TREE OF LIFE TEACHINGS – Coming this Summer
THE SPIRITUAL CHRISTIAN
The Teachings of Christ as a Way of Life
THE SPIRITUAL LIFE &
Each and every day, the body and ego-persona are captivated by worldly phenomenon, virtual reality, personal relationships, and sensual pleasures to the degree we forget we are divine, eternal souls having a human experience. We are bound to the biological/psychological organism of the human body on its journey from infancy to old age. This journey for the individual is defined by a unique path of destiny which contains the life experiences needed for the soul’s growth. These life experiences unfold in the ignorance, pain and suffering of the physical realm until we awaken to the spiritual or sacred life.
Awakening spiritually requires making a conscious decision to rise above the darkness, suffering and illusions of the world through spiritual knowledge and personal transformation. Many find liberation from this world through a variety of religions and/or religious practices. The spiritual Christian prefers the esoteric knowledge of the arisen Christ and the quiet solitude of meditation as the way to commune with the light, love and truth of the Holy Trinity.
The majority of Christian religions are based on an exoteric framework of beliefs regarding the birth, life and history of Jesus Christ; these beliefs are moral guidelines framed out in the same “logical 3rd dimensional time/space perception” as our real world experiences. Religions tend to perceive of heaven as being beyond our present-time earthly experience which means it is beyond our critical thinking, external to our physical bodies and outside our sensual experiences; the dogmas and doctrine of the church are meant to be accepted verbatim. Christianity has been extremely beneficial to humanity because it provides the individual with a lifestyle defined by higher values, self-discipline and appropriate behaviors by which to live. For all Christians, Jesus Christ embodies the fulfillment of these sacred values and selfless behaviors and he is the ideal role model for each of us to follow.
One of the great truths Christ revealed to humanity is that we live, move and have our being in the divine consciousness of our Eternal Father. We have been perfectly conceived and held in the perfect mind of God as perfect beings. Therefore, spiritual Christians perceive the body to be the temple of God, the spiritual heart is the divine altar, the Kingdom of Heaven can be experienced within; and the life of Jesus Christ demonstrates the spiritual potential we all have within ourselves. Meditation is the means of awakening this divine potential and reaching the point of silence and stillness within where all is one in God. The key to reaching the inner peace within is to first recognize that living in the ignorance of this world has created mental, moral, and emotional obstructions or shadows between us and God.
Through meditation, we learn to subdue the impulses and urges of the body (See: An Overview of Meditation), make the personal unconscious conscious, and balance the polarities of emotion. Christ said, “Keep thine eye single and thy whole body will be filled with light.” It is in this focused light upon the Divine Presence within that oneness with the Holy Trinity is experienced. In this stillness and silence, the mind of God floods the consciousness as sunshine radiates through clear water and, upon the altar of the heart, blends the greater with the lesser through which the lesser becomes one with the greater.
By awakening to God-Consciousness within, we can know ourselves as we really are rather than as we have thought and experienced ourselves to be in the world of illusions. By having this realization awakened in our consciousness, we can experience for ourselves what God has already conceived us to be; we learn to let go and let God. The spiritual Christian’s work is to strive for “perfection of being” in body, mind and spirit. As Christ has told us, “Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” It has been separation from God that has caused sin, sickness, poverty and death in the world. In the meditation experience, we understand that only in the mind does the idea of separation exist. Consequently, union with God causes us to rise above separation and to become a whole being or to become conscious of being whole in Christ.
Who Are We? (Excerpt from Perception)
For each of us, the journey through life has been a journey through consciousness, primarily because everything we experience through the nervous system and senses of the physical body is consciousness. We don’t “measure” our life experiences based on consciousness development because, in most cases, people don’t really understand consciousness; we are measured as individuals based on education, maturity, and experience. However, in this journey of life, each of our experiences becomes stored memories, and these past memories are the content of our life experience. The totality of this content forms our concept of who we are; the content of our experience is consciousness. So the conscious awareness of who we are is actually an awareness of who we were, since we are basing our self-image on past experiences. Let that sink in – we are who we were!
This means that almost everyone in the world, in reality, does not know who they really are, but instead, they only know who they were based on a concept comprised of experiences both: good and bad, painful and pleasant, joyful and frightening, harmful and beneficial, hopeful and disappointing, etc. The self-image is the platform from which we engage the world and the stability of this platform is determined by what kind of experiences we have had; how well we process these experiences determines what kind of experiences we are currently having. This knowledge about the functioning of consciousness in the ego-persona makes it clear that our self-image is fluid and changeable; on a daily basis our self-image changes as new experiences are encountered.
The ego-persona is a very significant part of who we think we are and like all things in the universe, it is comprised of consciousness; it follows the same pattern described above of identifying itself from the contents of its past experiences, so the ego-persona does not know who it is either, but only what it has experienced. The many experiences the ego has been through by the time it reaches adulthood have established a significant framework of: likes/dislikes, want/don’t want/, happy/sad, acceptable/unacceptable, plus an array of fears, anxieties, and insecurities. It is through the filter of the self-image that the ego-persona experiences life and people, so all events and individuals are evaluated based on the content of one’s life events. In other words, we do not see life as it is, but we see it as we are. Since every new experience is compared to and judged from a similar past experience, it is impossible for the ego-persona to be in the present moment.
This framework of content has armored or conditioned the individual so he or she is able to engage and function in the uncertain, fearful and unknown aspects of the world, but this protective framework also makes it very difficult to know or to be who we really are, or to experience present-time reality. Not only does this armoring of the self-image filter out those parts of the world we are reluctant to experience, but it also separates us from our divine Self. The goal of healing our psychology is to awaken to who we truly are by recognizing the impediments we have established in our life and removing them. We do this by emulating Christ (See: Loving God) in our life, becoming whole, and putting on the armor of Christ Light which fills us with hope, confidence, and purpose. (Armor of Christ, see: Stage 2 Meditation)
A study of the history and evolution of consciousness reveals how our psychological awareness has dramatically changed since the time of Christ. When people learn about Jesus and the apostles, they automatically imagine the apostles and disciples as being like we are today, but in fact, the apostles and disciples were not self-conscious in the way we are today. It took about 1500 years after the time of Christ before individual self-awareness such as we know it emerged in humanity; what we know today as ego made its first appearance in the Renaissance period. This evolution of consciousness from the time of Christ is revealed in the evolution of paintings through this period of time as outlined in the paper Perception. Consciousness has evolved since 1500 A.D. and so has our collective psychology which is revealed in the ego-persona and the world around us.
Today, many feel that we are entering the end times because of the extreme division, chaos and confusion we see in the political, social, racial, national, and personal perspectives. The root cause of these nebulous, fluctuating, and volatile, worldly issues is the unstable and tenuous psychological state of the outward-looking, semi-rational ego-persona. The ego-persona is being battered as it wavers lost and alone on the sea of complexity because, in this world, it is unable to find its anchor – its own true identity. This is why a healthy psychology is so vitally important at this time in history because the ego will never find its own identity; it doesn’t have one! Our real identity is from the higher Self within and the ego-persona borrows a sense of identity from our higher spiritual nature which is why it has been referred to in ancient writings as the counterfeit spirit.
Here’s the main issue we are confronting today – consciousness continues to evolve and in its present condition, the ego is unable to keep up. The outward looking ego-persona is not capable of dealing with or calmly processing all that is happening in the world; we are at an evolutionary turning point for the ego. Unfortunately, we see the casualties piling up all around us primarily from psychological instability in the world: suicides, drug overdoses, senseless murders, mental illness, sexual assaults, straight-faced lies, anarchy, deep irrational hatred, personality disorders, inescapable anxiety, terrorism, and wars. Jesus taught us that we are “in the world, but not of this world.” Regrettably, those individuals who are voluntarily attached to the world are going to go down with the world. (See: Wheat & Tares in
The challenge for the Disciples of Christ is to become anchored in their true (Christ) identity, and the only way to do this is “to die to who you think you are” (ego) so you can awaken to the true Self within. In other words, like Jesus showed us, we must nail our ego-persona to the cross and become clear, humble and selfless. We must be like Paul when he said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) A healthy and stable Christian Psychology can be achieved through the knowledge and practice of meditation and the Disciples of Christ can prepare for this personal crucifixion and holy resurrection so we can LIVE and BE in the Light of Christ in this time of psychological chaos and uncertainty.
The Beautiful Mountain
One bright day you perceive the silhouette of a beautiful mountain.
You enjoy exploring crag and ridge, listening to its silver-spraying fountain.
Suddenly, a sun ray touches the wick of its heart, and your mind begins to quake,
For in the light of truth, you see the mountain is you, and its soul is awake.
Then, softly as a whisper in the wind, its small flame expands with many a sigh,
Its aura reaching to the highest peak, becoming one with the summit’s eye,
Which opens to show you many new ways in which your spirit may fly,
To reach the base of yet a higher mountain, floating even higher in the sky.
There, though you will climb through many clouds, where only light has gone before,
You will travel beyond the shadow of doubt, to find the handle of an ancient door,
Which will open by your hand into the land, where the stream of your prayer pours,
As you become the servant of glory, reflecting the sun forevermore;
Until one day another will perceive the bright silhouette of your beautiful mountain,
And together you will walk upon its crag and ridge, adoring its holy fountain.