HERMIT IN THE WOODS
Dedicated to the American Spirit
Destiny and the Soul
The greatest fallacy in the mind of humans today is that if they do not believe in something they “think” it doesn’t apply to them. They feel they are exempt from the laws and principles of the universe simply because they do not believe in them. It is the arrogance of the rational human ego-mind which denies and dismisses this reality. Godless individuals believe we live in an elemental universe and all events of life are merely biological mutations that cease to exist when we die.
Although these people do not believe in an afterlife, they will nevertheless experience life after death; we all will be held accountable for our actions in this life. They are correct in their belief that the body returns to the elements, but we “humans” are not our bodies. We are intelligent light and spirit encased in a living soul that never dies. This is the reality of Creation which can be experienced. Consequently, it does not matter whether people “believe” in the spiritual universe or not, it still governs and directs all of our lives as we live our individual destinies, which creates our future destiny.
Similar fallacies of mind hold true for some religious people who adhere to very narrow and strict views of their religious dogma and doctrines making their understanding of universal truth either nil, incomplete, or deeply flawed. Some of the more extreme religions have misunderstandings or misperceptions that stifle life, love, liberty, and spirit. Unfortunately, too many people do not understand how the universal laws and principles bring the truth to life and provide each of us with “silent feedback” which can be recognized in the harmony, goodness, and blessings of our individual lives. It is our individual lives and souls that each one of us is responsible for in this lifetime. We are also responsible for our relationship with the Creator who created us; this is a universal truth and no one is exempt.
The primary reason for writing about destiny is that in times like these in which there are “dark and crazy” situations in our country and in the world today, it is important to remember that how we react and respond individually to life’s circumstances is critically important to the well-being of our soul. We are eternal souls who live many different lives in the time/space universe. Sri Aurobindo said, “Time is one body and space a single book;” and I would add that our many lives are the pages in our own book, a book of our soul. Whether we recognize it or not, each one of us by our thoughts, words, and deeds are creating the framework, substance, and circumstances in this life for what will be a future life experience.
The dynamics of creating destiny and the direct impact it has upon the soul is not a topic many understand. This is apparent when watching people in the political, government, media, or business worlds lie with straight faces as they spin their deceiving stories or distorted ideologies. They do not realize that there are personal consequences for deceiving others regardless of how they try to justify their actions; these people are “the end justifies the means” crowd. And of course, there are those who murder, rape, steal and violate the laws of nature without showing any sign of remorse, but this does not mean they will be exempt from the consequences. Even if a person is apprehended by the law and pays the price in prison, it is only a price being paid to society, not to the soul. These individuals will experience the long term detrimental impact these actions have upon the soul and the circumstances of life and ultimately, upon the human condition in his/her next life.
If people understood the connection between destiny and the soul they would realize that every thought, word, and deed is imprinted upon their soul throughout life. This means that the life and circumstances (condition of the body, sexual gender and orientation, opportunities or lack thereof, geographical location, parents, friends, personal motivation, intelligence, etc.) each person is experiencing in this lifetime is a direct result of his/her actions from the previous life. This is the reason some people come into life with immense challenges; this is the reason some people are gifted; this is the reason some people are smarter than others; this is the reason some have more courage and integrity than others, and this is the reason everyone is uniquely different. The bottom line is we create our own physical destiny, life experiences, moral convictions, and mental acuity – we have no one else to blame but ourselves if we are unhappy.
That which is imprinted upon the individual soul, what I call the soul matrix, is the “blueprint of life” that is emblazoned upon the embryo at conception; this is what makes each embryo a uniquely different being. This blueprint is the destiny or lifeline of experiences which guides the soul and human body through its experiences in life which also includes the manner of death. The majority of people are totally unconscious regarding their individual destiny nor do they realize they create new destiny by their daily actions as their life unfolds. This happens because we come into life with a set of challenges or “life lessons” to learn and we all react to these experiences differently. Our reactions and responses begin the cycle of cause and effect throughout our lives meaning that how we act in this life sets us up for the next life. This on-going cycle of destiny is often referred to as the “wheel of karma.”
For those who are following a spiritual path or following the way of life as taught by Jesus Christ, the goal is to get off the wheel of karma or to paraphrase Christ, we must “die” to the natural world and immerse ourselves into the spiritual world. What this means is to take full responsibility for our lives and actions and STOP creating destiny or karma for ourselves. This is accomplished by “disengaging” from the 3rd dimensional world or what is referred to as the world of mammon. This is the realm of cause and effect; this is the realm of the physical body and ego-personality; this is the realm of action and reaction, and participating in that world creates destiny.
The remedy for stopping the creation of destiny or karma and finding peace within is to: begin disengaging from the world by discerning and determining what is really meaningful and beneficial to your life; discover your spiritual nature by learning how to be quiet and still within; learn to distinguish what is true from what is not true in the world (learn to “see-feel” with your heart); learn to perceive who you are separate from the ego-personality; find the center of light, love, and peace within your heart of hearts. Such a rare treasure is not casually gained, but requires unrequited determination and deep humility. When these are accomplished one can experience what it means to be in the Spirit.
As Christians, when we awaken in life to the reality of God as the creator of this magnificently beautiful universe and understand the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for humanity, it touches us deeply and becomes a life changing event. We instantly recognize how much we need to change personally in order to be worthy of all that has been done for us. To begin with, Jesus sacrificed himself by “emptying himself” of his personal desires and ego so he could become a clear and empty vessel for Christ to enter into this world. Christ, the Word of God, is God; and in order for Christ to enter into Jesus at the baptism, God had to put aside enough of His own divinity so He could enter and live in a human body. It is through this miraculous event that God became both human and divine, and overcame death – something no avatar of the past has ever done. As a result, humanity was sanctified, redeemed and awakened to the reality that we are one in our humanity and divinity with God, the Creator. This initial awakening put Christians on a path of “changing their personal behavior” by imitating Christ in their lives.
For the last two thousand years, Christians have followed the teachings of Christ through religious practices and various forms of devotion; imitating Christ is the starting point in which everyone begins to follow the Way of Life. This way of life is summed up nicely in the book titled The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A’ Kempis. The admonitions from this book for following the spiritual life are very similar to those written about on this site; for example, A’Kempis advises: have contempt for the vanities of the world, have a humble opinion of oneself, have prudence in our undertakings, avoid rash judgments, have a pure mind and simple intentions, be quiet and peaceful within, true comfort is to be sought in God alone, and temporal miseries are to be born with patience after the example of Jesus Christ. Imitating Christ in our personal behavior, in our attitudes about life and people, and in our moral discipline keeps us aligned with God’s love.
The subject matter of this website differs slightly from most religious practices in that the emphasis here is about developing a real connection within oneself with the Christ Spirit. If you are religious, spend time each Sunday worshipping God, but also spend time each morning in meditation connecting with and being in the presence of the Christ Spirit. There are many, many different degrees of being present with God. Those attending church on Sunday are present with God and many of them feel that presence strongly, but for most of these people, Jesus Christ is a divine person who exists outside of the conscious self. Thinking of God and Christ as being in heaven and “outside” of our body is quite normal since many Christians imitate or model the divinity Jesus Christ represents.
However, there is another approach to Christ, a level of devotion and spiritual practice that is the next higher level after imitating Christ and that is to emulate Christ. To emulate Christ means to strive to be equal. This is similar to imitating Christ except imitation means to model one’s behavior after another person. This is why everyone says, “What would Jesus do?” Emulation is different, that is, rather than modeling the behavior of another, we want to know and feel within ourselves what motivates or inspires that person to act the way he does so we may emulate from our heart that same experience; only through internal experience (communion) can we emulate another.
Since Jesus is human in his body, we can understand that aspect of his being. But what really distinguishes Jesus from the run of humans is that the Christ, as the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit descended into Jesus at his baptism. At this point, he truly became the Son of God as well as the Son of Man; both divine and human. To emulate Jesus Christ means we want to know and feel within ourselves the same presence of Christ and the Holy Spirit as Jesus did. This is what God wants us to do; this is the reason God entered into the human body – this sacred hypostasis (union) which took place in the body of Jesus means it can be accomplished in any human body that is spiritually prepared. Of course, we can never be equal to Jesus Christ who is God’s only begotten son, but we can through proper spiritualization become one with Christ and the Holy Spirit. How deep and stable that connection to the divine is is up to us.
What exactly is spiritual preparation? As stated above, it begins by having contempt for the vanities of this world and a humble opinion of oneself. If we want to truly emulate Christ we must “empty ourselves” of all worldly desires, subdue the ego-persona, and maintain this state of “surrender” through spiritual practices such as meditation. We must become “selfless” so the presence of God can fill us; only then do we make room for the presence of Christ and the Spirit. Christians who understand these words will recognize this as a task which becomes their life work. Obstacles, worldly temptations, personal weaknesses and lack of will keep us from making progress, but true Christians must always persist and never quit. Purity, abstinence, humility and spiritual practices keep us from the vanities of the world so our hearts are more receptive to the loving presence and Spirit of God.
“The soul redeemed by obedience to the Divine Will, withdraws itself,
and aspires evermore to its center, until absorbed therein,
it becomes like unto God, wholy spiritual.”