THE PATH WITHIN
In the many different versions of the Bible today, the teachings of Christ are always referred to as the Way of Life. These teachings are meant to be guidelines for our personal behavior as well as our relationship to God, life and our interaction with all living creatures. These instructions reiterate the importance of living a pure and wholesome life so the soul may benefit in this life and the one to come. There is a “ladder of Truth” which perfects the soul through experience and insight, and gradually awakens the conscious awareness within.
Within Christianity, there are various denominations of churches which have opposing and conflicting interpretations of Christ’s teachings. However, for the most part, faith-based religion has served as a guiding force for molding humanity’s moral character through systems of belief which promise future salvation. Religion creates for humanity a protective barrier from the harsher and coarser realities of life by elevating the faithful through moral and ethical parameters which instill hope, duty and a sense of community. Religion, as the means of knowing God, does not call for intense analysis or contemplation as much as it requires faith, acceptance and adherence to the established beliefs. This exoteric or external framework of beliefs is suitable for church members who desire to fulfill their obligations to God through regular devotion, but whose daily focus is primarily in the secular life.
There are many people whose level of interest in religion, philosophy, or spirituality ventures into the esoteric or internal realm of understanding. In other words, they do not limit themselves to the study of a single source or a single perspective, but rather seek the broader and deeper aspects of Truth wherever it may be found. Through reflection and contemplation, these individuals seek to gain the knowledge and insight that will turn their faith into knowing and turn their knowing into Self-realization. Truth, one and absolute, is in God alone, for no man, neither any body of men, knows that which God alone knows. To humans, Truth is revealed according to their capacity to understand and to receive. The One Truth has many sides and one sees one side only, another sees another, and some see more than others, as it is given to them. Each person must receive the truth according to his or her individual light and ability to understand.
The Path of Light
The internal path of knowledge which conveys the seeker to truth, insight and goodness lead to the one Light. This one light is the Christ Light. Buddha’s teachings of enlightenment led to this light, Krishna represented this same light to his people, but Jesus was the first to become one with Christ, the Holy One of God. Jesus Christ, is one with God, the Father, He is the only-begotten son of humanity. The knowledge and teachings of the one universal Light were expressed in uniquely different styles and methods by Jesus, Buddha and Krishna so they could better relate this truth to the people of their time who were of different cultures and mentalities. When the essence of these different teaching systems is understood, it becomes apparent that their origins spring from the same root. Their shared divine message, “Man, know thyself.” God does not discriminate; the Christ Light shines upon the just and the unjust regardless of race, religion, cultural status or nationality.
These teachers, and others, have incarnated to guide humankind toward the internal awakening of consciousness. The singular and notable difference was that Jesus the Christ was elevated in such a manner spiritually that He actually manifested the reality of the fully integrated and enlightened soul. Jesus Christ, as part of the Holy Trinity is singular in his holiness, but it is this state of enlightened, integrated wholeness of being that is the ultimate goal of the Way of Life.
In order to attain to this spiritual height, humans must “fall from grace” and come into this world to experience the challenges of perfecting the soul. This means that for a time humans must abide in matter, darkness and ignorance until a desire for the truth leads them back to the Light. As Christ said, “These things I do, so shall you do also and greater than these.” Christ meant for us to follow Him into this enlightened state of being.
Praising and worshipping Jesus for what he did and having faith in his message is well and good… it has its reward. However, from a spiritual perspective, it is far more beneficial for the soul to actually practice the Way of Life that Christ advocated… it has a greater reward. He told us that the Kingdom of Heaven is within, and in order to gain realization of the inner states of being what is required are a clear framework of the path, a meditation system and a focused mind. God is a spirit and must be worshipped in spirit.
As we penetrate the knowledge of the internal Light, we learn the mystery and truth of the heavenly Light because the spiritual essence within each of us is the same spiritual essence as that of the heavenly worlds. As we embrace the Light within, we embrace the Light of heaven. In essence, if we want to know God and the wonders of the universe which exist within consciousness, then we must attempt to understand the mysteries within ourselves.
In order to reorient our consciousness away from the sensual world of matter and toward our inner divinity, we need to recognize that the misconceptions, misperceptions and misunderstandings we hold regarding life, ourselves and others are dangerous illusions which prevent us from seeing and experiencing reality as it is meant to be. Unless we make a conscious and prolonged effort to recognize, forgive and break free from these misconceptions and illusions, we will experience a distorted and inaccurate picture of reality.
By seeking knowledge of the higher Self within, we will come to understand the world of consciousness and energy in which we live. We will realize that we are beings comprised of vital life-force and higher intelligence integrated into a miraculous sensual body of physical matter all designed to educate our soul. Understanding who we are as beings, how we are integrated into this world, and why we are here, are the answers we seek. This is the Way of Life Jesus Christ taught.
Those who truly desire to walk the path of Light must have courage and persistence because it is our responsibility to find our way to the light just as the butterfly finds its way out of the cocoon and into the light. The symbolism of the emerging butterfly clearly represents the struggle we also will have. Jesus Christ demonstrated His divinity and sacrificed His life to show us the way. Now those who follow Him need to manifest their divinity. This is done by awakening our spiritual potential within.
As we emerge into the light and recognize our oneness with the ALL, we must ask a few questions. The questions we need to answer in this lifetime are fourfold: who am I, where am I, why am I here, and where am I going? As long as these questions remain unanswered, individuals will live with the primal fears of the body as well as the emotional and intellectual anxieties which come from not knowing, with certainty, the peace of Christ.