The Life of a Coin

When you hold a coin in your hand, what do you think?  What goes through your mind while you experience that cool metal between your finger tips?  What sort of judgment arises when you feel the ridges of a quarter with your fingernail?  How do you categorize a nickel when you see the date it was made?  Maybe you can remember what a penny tastes like (don’t deny it, every kid has put a penny in their mouth)?  The change in your change bowl has a smell (you know this because you got experience it while you tried to get all that change into those little paper tubes).  Do you accept or reject a dime because of its smell?

Coins have a sound.  If you’ve ever been around slot machines, you know the sound of coins.  Maybe you have an opinion about the sound of coins (because they remind you of a big win in Vegas or the mess the kids made when they broke your penny jar), but does the sound of a coin make the coin less or more?  Maybe you have a psychological preference over which face of the coin is better (this happens because of all the coin tosses we’ve participated in to have the experience of winning or loosing), but would a coin be a coin if it didn’t have two faces (at least in the US in 2017)?

Life is the coin.  I’m not talking about the “life that comes and goes as this temporal unit I call Lance.”  I’m talking about eternal life, the life essence, the divine manifestation of consciousness…the ONE life.

Really we could say life is an infinitely faceted gem something like this one:

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Letting go of the baggage

The soul accumulates unconscious baggage from the illusion of separation.  This baggage is the product of struggle or suffering in blindness to our true nature of oneness. Resistance to what is, judgment and categorizing as forms and  concepts, wishing that what is is not…all this is the struggle of awareness that is unconscious to itself and it produces baggage.

This baggage needs to go so awareness can awaken to truth, so awareness can become aware, so that unconsciousness can give way to consciousness, so that the soul can know itself as THE self.  These bags we carry have deep roots, entanglements, emotional bonds to the dream or illusion.

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Going Beyond the Prism

The following is a chapter from “The Flip Side.”  If you haven’t read the last post, I recommend you read it so you have context for this chapter.

For years I practiced and practiced to be a good golfer. Golf can be so frustrating and at the same time extremely gratifying. Like so much of our temporal life as a journey of awakening, Golf is a game of opposites and the harder you try the less progress you make, or so it seems. Continue reading

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The Prism of the Mind

Here is another tail from “The Flip Side.”  Get it?  Tail, as in heads or tails when you flip a coin?  Anyway, here it is.  Enjoy.

Have you seen what happens when light, pure white light passes through a prism? Here is a picture of what it looks like:

Prism

When light passes through a prism it is refracted or dispersed into all the colors of the rainbow. Each spectral color is still the light but appears to be different from the light. If the light doesn’t enter the prism, the rainbow goes away. The light is necessary for the colors and the colors are a manifestation of the light. Without the prism, the light would just be white. With the prism, the light is transformed into all of the colors. The light through the prism produces an infinite number of colors (once you take into account all the possible frequencies and shades of those colors). The white, pure light contains all the colors but the colors are not evident until the light is dispersed by the prism. The colors are not “something else” but are what white light becomes when it is transformed. The truth of this demonstration is the colors are the white light and could be nothing else but the white light. Still on this side of the prism we observe is the white light as colors. They appear to be separate but they are just a dispersion of the one. In this simple demonstration, it is obvious that the light is ever-present but can be perceived as something else on this side of the prism. The light is constant. Our perspective is altered because of the prism.

Jesus had a lot to say about light. Here are a few examples:

John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. (ESV)

John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (ESV)

The traditional view of light and darkness (as perceived by the illusory separate self) is the light is good and the darkness is bad. In the extreme, the light is good and the darkness is “evil.” Some might say the light produces righteousness and the darkness leads to damnation.

Now add the fallacy of original sin (which says we are all filled with darkness or evil) and our only hope for redemption is the brutal sacrifice of a perfect human, namely Jesus. Our inner darkness is our death sentence. The light of Jesus is our salvation. If we remain in the dark, loving our evil nature and our evil deeds, we will end up burning in the eternal fires of hell. If we believe in Jesus, then grace, or our good deeds, will purge us of the darkness, forgive our evil, and bring us into the light or goodness that hides us like a clean robe covering a disgustingly dirty body. The angry sky-god can’t look upon evil and can’t tolerate darkness so there is no hope for our eternal self apart from the saving work of Jesus.

That way of thinking may promote some kind of “good” behavior but I believe Jesus was pointing to something much more profound. I believe Jesus was pointing us to the truth of the light and our luminous nature that is hidden in the darkness of unconsciousness.

Why don’t we take a look at the flip side?

Just like the light through the prism, pure consciousness is dispersed to become all the manifestations we observe in the physical realm. The divine essence appears as a multitude of physical forms when it passes from the eternal into the temporal. When the infinite ONE manifests as the temporal, physical world, the infinite ONE appears as many but the many are still the ONE.

Our bodies are like those colors. Our personalities are like those colors. Our limited thoughts are like those colors. The prism is the transition from eternal to temporal. The prism is the divine manifesting as the physical or limited. Our limited minds are the prism of our thoughts and perceptions.

Imagine for a moment if you were one of those colors. You look around at the other colors and see something other than yourself. You see division and separation and categories and concepts and forms. You can’t see back through the prism. You aren’t aware of the light that is what you really are because all you see is your color. You begin to believe that all you are is the color you observe. You perceive yourself as a limited, one-of-a-kind color that is like no other while being completely oblivious to the light that is your essence.

The mind is a physical manifestation of the light. The mind can’t see the light that is the origin of its perceived existence. The mind can’t process or understand or even observe directly the light that precedes the thoughts that it produces. The mind is a physical form and is by definition limited to the physical form and the physical understanding of the physical perception.

But we aren’t the mind. We aren’t our thoughts. We aren’t our perceptions. We aren’t our interpretations or our stories or our experiences or our emotions or our conditioning or our person. We are consciousness itself. We are awareness. We are that which is aware of what we perceive and witness and experience. We are the observer. We are actually the light itself. Our mind can’t understand that truth but our true self already knows that truth. Our true nature is the light before the prism. Our true self is the essence that is before thought.

Jesus manifested the pure light. His physical expression was without the limits of a temporal transformation of the light. Jesus was what it looks like for a human form to be the light absent of a prism. He contained and radiated the pure light of the eternal truth. He was what the divine looks like when it is not limited by the illusion of separation. He was the light of the world…and so are we.

When we see Jesus as he really was and “believe” or are aware that we are the same, we wake up to the light that we are. We move beyond the limits of the physical form to embrace the limitless eternal essence that is our true identity. As we awaken, we leave the prism behind. Our minds become a tool to interact with the physical and no longer act as the prism that disperses truth as the illusion of a separate self. We are no longer an individual color but have the opportunity to experience forms as the formless. The light then shines through this form not only from the inside out but the outside in. Check out this verse:

Luke 11:36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” (ESV)

As we awaken, we begin to shine with the light within and observe the light that is all around us. We no longer just see colors.  We see what makes the colors possible. We see the light in others no matter how unconscious or in the darkness they may be.

Now back to the verses in John (John 3:19-21). There are a few words that are key to understanding the truth that Jesus was trying to reveal.

I’ve discussed the word “evil” before, but as a refresher, remember the word “evil” is really unrest or struggle or friction. It’s like rubbing two sticks together to make fire. It is what powers the egoic illusion of a separate self. The ego subsists on the friction of conflict. The ego is in the business of fixing what is perceived as wrong. It is what the physical form needs to survive the physical world. It is the primordial instinct to get more of what it wants and reject what it doesn’t want. In the most basic sense, it is how we survive as a physical form. We need food to survive so the ego driven mind gathers the food it needs to survive often at the expense of another. The mind is used to solve survival problems. All of this is necessary as a form but when we identify with the egoic mind, we are unconscious of the truth of what we are. We are not a survival driven animal, but we get to experience the world through the human form. It is a tool to become aware of our true nature. If we are unconscious, lost to the illusion of a separate self, a color of the rainbow, we are motivated by conflict resolution. The creation of conflict to justify the egoic existence as an unconscious separate self is creating evil. It isn’t “bad,” as in the good-bad paradigm, but it is counter to the peace that is our true nature.

The words “light” and “darkness” are metaphors for awareness and unconsciousness. When we are aware of the awareness that we are, when we are conscious of the consciousness we are, when we are alert to our true nature, we are living in the light. When we are unconscious to the true self, lost in the illusion of a separate self, we are living in the darkness.

The deeds what we do, what we accomplish, how we perform as the physical form. When we are motivated by a separate-self illusion, our deeds are to create the conflict that the ego needs to justify its existence. When we identify with the egoic self, our deeds are struggle and suffering. When we see the physical as the tool it is and live from the light of awareness, our deeds and actions are manifestations of the light. The light is life, peace, joy, no struggle, no suffering, the unconditional acceptance of all things. When we perform from the truth of our true nature, we are shining the light. It doesn’t mean our circumstance is always utopian but as the dreamer observing the dream, our correct perspective is that of peace. We no longer desire to create conflict or rub those sticks together. We accept all that is as the light that is ever-present. We may see colors but we perceive the light.

Here is another way to see John 3:19-21:

John 3:19 This is the truth that brings conviction to our innermost being: the light or the truth of our nature is ever-present but the egoic mind is stuck in the darkness. It accepts the illusion as factual instead of seeing the light that is truth. The egoic mind wants to create conflict in its unconsciousness. When we are unconscious, we reject the truth. Our egoic minds can’t accept the truth and is terrified of the truth that will expose the illusion for what it is. However if we embrace the truth for what it is and let go of our egoic identity then what we do as the light is an expression of truth. (LLT)

The prism of the mind, when we identify with the mind, is a limitation that can be overcome. Our true self knows itself and is waking up to become aware of itself. The simple act of being aware of the truth of our nature shines this light on the illusion and exposes it for what it is. The egoic mind is deprived of the power that draws the attention of awareness into the illusion. The light that is within dispels the darkness and propels us into a greater experience of the light. It is an upward spiral that can’t be stopped once the light shines in the darkness.

Jesus revealed this truth and we can embrace this truth. We can look beyond the prism of the mind to know that the light we are has manifested as the color we used to think was our identity. In the next chapter we will take a look at the details of how the light expels the darkness and how we become aware of the awareness that we are. The unconsciousness is over. The light has come. The prism is no longer a limitation but has been overcome.

Yay God!

Lance

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Experiencing the Kingdom

In my last post I presented a “Flip Side” perspective of the Kingdom of Heaven.  In this post I would like to continue with another installment of “The Flip Side.”

For most of my life I was an overachiever.  Can you identify with that?  Have you ever wanted something so badly, you would do anything it takes to have it?  Have you pursued a love at all cost?  Have you worked harder than anyone else to rise above the rest to receive the prize at the end?

We are conditioned to think that way, especially in the west where capitalism is king.  OK, maybe that is too strong of a statement, but think about how you were raised.  You were told from a very young age that to receive well you had to do well.  To get good grades you had to study hard.  If you got good grades then you could go to a good college where you could get a good degree so you could get a good job and make good money.

Or how about sports?  If you train harder, you will perform better.  If you really practice, you will hone your skills and be the best athlete on the field.  If you pay your dues you will receive your reward.  We are driven by the sense of competition on the field and off the field.  We are motivated powerfully by the good-bad and have learned from experience that to be successful we have to work hard and do good.  It is our cause and effect perspective.  Spoiler alert:  all of that effort is a product of the illusion of separation.

So when we are thinking from this mindset and we read these verses, what do we see?

Matt 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)

Matt 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)

If you are thinking in terms of separation, cause and effect, then these verses suggest we have to do something to get something.  We think, “How do I DO “poor in spirit” so I can get to heaven?”  We think “When I am persecuted for doing right, then I will make it to heaven.”  We think, “No matter how bad it is here, if I am good I will get a great reward in heaven.”  Those are separation concepts.

Let’s take a look at the flip side.

Like I talked about in the previous post, heaven isn’t a place.  Heaven is a divine reality.  Experiencing the kingdom of heaven is to experience the divine reality.  Jesus lived from the divine reality of oneness.  He lived from the kingdom.  He said the kingdom was in us.  Our nature and essence is the stuff of the kingdom.  When we become aware of this divine reality we experience the kingdom.

So what is Jesus trying to tell us?  What wisdom can we glean from these statements?  Let’s take them one at a time.

If we remove the cause and effect, what do we see?  In our oneness, we are one.  Everyone we see is another version of us, the divine US.  We are not in competition.  We are not trying to obtain something through effort.  We are not trying to earn a reward.  The kingdom is already here.  The kingdom is within us.  We are the kingdom as expressed in this physical reality.  If we look deep within, pull back to the position of the dreamer, we see the dream for what it is.  We see from the heavenly perspective.  We see that there isn’t cause and effect, or better said, we aren’t working to obtain anything that we don’t already have.  We are just waking up to what is already here.  We are “repenting” or changing our minds.

In this first verse the clue is in the word “poor.”  This is a translation of a Greek word that means to crouch down.  To bow down, or lower your head to someone else is an act of humility.  It is an act of honor.  It can also mean to be literally poor, destitute or without resources.  Either way, the concept is the same.

Cause and effect or working to get some reward from a separation perspective, instills a sense of entitlement.  If we see ourselves in competition, then we think we are better than another.  When we operate as if we are separate entities competing for something we think we don’t have, we are missing the point.  We are missing the heavenly reality.  We are lost in the dream with no awareness as the dreamer.

When we operate as a separate self, we become proud.  We think we deserve something for our effort.  We are pulled deeper and deeper into the illusion of separation.  We divide instead of living from unity.  We exclude in our competition.  We are the opposite of “poor in spirit.”

Jesus is telling us that we can know or experience the kingdom when we leave our separation mindset behind.  We can experience the perspective of the dreamer when we leave our desperate desire for individuality behind.  We can begin to realize the kingdom of heaven when we humble ourselves to the truth of our oneness.  It isn’t a pretentious action but a gentle surrender.  We aren’t trying to “do” anything but are letting go of our separate ego-self and its desires to individuate itself in order to get something that it thinks it needs.  We “let go and let God” as many have said.

The other clue in this verse (Matt 5:3) is the word “is.”  This is a translation of the Greek word that actually means, “I am” or “being” or “to be.” I hope you see how amazing this is.  When we “let go” we are BEING the kingdom of heaven.  When we stop competing and embrace the truth of our oneness, we are indeed experiencing the kingdom of heaven while expanding our consciousness to embrace the ultimate divine reality.

The last clue is the word “blessed.”  The original Greek word can be translated literally as “to make long or large.”  Again, this is amazing in the context of our ultimate reality as one.  When we embrace our true nature, when we fall into the consciousness of the dreamer, we are expanding.  We are BEING infinite.  The experience of the infinite consciousness is often described as overwhelming.  The divine sense of oneness is overwhelming love or the total acceptance of all things.  The peace that surpasses understanding is the peace of the divine nature.  God loves himself and we are him and there is no greater peace than the acceptance of self, not the individual in competition, but the infinite self of the infinite God.

You could rephrase this verse to be this:

We are expanding and expanding as we let go of our desire for individuality and division in competition to experience the ultimate reality of infinite consciousness.  (LLT)

In the next verse the same clues apply but now we add “persecuted” and “righteousness.”  Here is the verse again so you don’t have to backtrack:

Matt 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (ESV)

The Greek word translated as persecuted can be literally translated as “having been pursued” or “having been put to the fight.”  When we wake up to the truth of the divine reality, the world lost to the lie of separation will not take it well.  Like in the last verse, the pursuit of ultimate reality means giving up our desperate desire for individuality to embrace the oneness of the infinite consciousness.  The world built on the concepts of cause and effect or competition does not respond well to the concept of oneness.  The world that wants to earn and take and exploit another to have something that it thinks it needs at the expense of another, does not like the idea of oneness.  To give up that illusion feels like losing something that we think we deserve.

On the other hand this could mean our own pursuit or fight for divine truth.  It could be our intense desire to experience the oneness of the divine reality.  It could be our commitment to find our true self, to experience the perspective of the dreamer, to experience God.

This second perspective fits well with the true concept of righteousness.  In the separate-self illusion, the false version of righteousness is to be “right” in all situations.  It is often seen as a judicial expression.  In a religious sense, many have used the mythology of an angry sky-god to threaten others with the punishment that awaits those who don’t get it right.

If we are all the same ONE in different expressions, then justice or righteousness isn’t judicial, it is experiential.  What is right?  What is the ultimate rightness we all desire in our innermost being?  Knowing our oneness.  Experiencing our oneness.  Seeing from the “right” perspective.  Knowing our infinite self.  This isn’t a behavioral cause and effect, deed and reward expression at all.  It is Jesus telling us this:

We are expanding and happy as we relentlessly pursue the right sightedness of the divine consciousness that is the kingdom of heaven.  (LLT)

Isn’t that a very different way of seeing this verse?  What a flip side, don’t you think?

Now I hope you see that experiencing or knowing the kingdom isn’t something we do, it is something we are.  We aren’t practicing and training and working harder.  We are awakening from the dream.  We are stepping out of the darkness of the lie of separation.  Our pursuit is enlightenment or awakening or revelation or whatever term works best for you.  We want to “see” from the right or divine perspective.  We want to wake up from the dream of separation and live in constant awareness of the kingdom of heaven.  From a divine perspective we are in concert with the infinite consciousness where peace is the undercurrent of all things and the expression of that peace is the happiness we’ve always wanted.  We have experienced the kingdom of heaven.

Yay God!

Lance

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The Kingdom of Heaven

The following is taken from “The Flip Side”, a book I’m writing about seeing the words of Jesus from a different perspective:

Every good pilot knows that a proper perspective is important.  Sometimes you have to fly in bad weather.  There may be layers of clouds, rain, fog and a many other phenomena that can affect your perspective.  A misconception based on existing flight conditions could lead to poor decisions and maybe even an accident.

I’ve experienced some of the worst vertigo when flying between layers of clouds.  When the layers are not level but instead are sloping, your eyes perceive a false horizon.  Your body however senses gravity.  When the cloud layer is slanting and you can’t see the horizon, what you see doesn’t match what you feel.  This often leads to confusion, unless you reference your flight instruments.

Similarly if you are in the clouds and are in a slight turn, your body senses the g-force of the turn.  If you are in a gradual turn for a while and then roll out of the turn, your inner ear lags and gives you the sensation that you are turning when you are now flying level.  You can check your instruments and know that you are flying level, but your body is telling you that you are in a turn.  In pilot speak we call this “the leans.”  This kind of vertigo has resulted in many accidents for pilots who don’t recognize what is happening to their senses.

Pilots learn through experience to recognize these false perceptions and trust their instruments.  Your instruments are your truth and can save you from making a judgment error.  Still it can be very disorienting, especially when other factors like having to fly a precision approach or worrying about fuel or avoiding rising terrain can increase your anxiety to the point that you aren’t thinking clearly.

In this illusion we call life, our perception is everything.  We sense the world in a particular way based on our experiences, what we have learned from others, what we have been conditioned to believe… and much more.  One of the greatest misperceptions is the feeling we are separate individual entities.  This leads to many other misperceptions or wrong interpretations.  Jesus knew our illusory misperceptions and came to bring us revelation of the true nature of things.  He came to reveal an eternal life or a divine reality.  He often called this “the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus referenced “heaven” over 120 times.  Here is an example:

Matt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (ESV)

In the traditional and often unequivocably accepted view, heaven is a place.  Heaven is a good place for good people.  It is a reward for a job well done.  For some doctrines, heaven is something that is earned.  For others, heaven is something given freely because of the necessary and brutal sacrifice of Jesus.  Some might say heaven is where God resides and hell is a place absent of God.  Many will say that heaven and hell are the places we go after some version of a final judgment.  They would say it is God’s way of ensuring ultimate justice.

In an illusion, where separation seems real, these concepts make perfect sense.  Just like the sloping clouds, without some truth reference, our perception is skewed.  We let ourselves believe in what we think we see instead of listening to our innermost voice.  This conflict is our vertigo of sorts.  It is our “leans” that cause us so much turmoil and suffering.  We never find our peace because we aren’t using our instruments.  We are “lost” as Jesus would say.  We are in the darkness.  We have not seen the light.

So how about we look at the flip side?

Jesus knew oneness.  He said often “I and the Father are one.”  If we think in terms of separation, we put Jesus in some special category as the only one who could know oneness.  But that misperception is exactly what Jesus was trying to correct.  He was telling us that we are like him and we are all one, the one God in many expressions.

So from this perspective, what would Jesus mean by heaven or the kingdom of heaven?  Some of the clues are found in these verses:

Luke 17:20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (KJV)

(The writers of the Gospels used “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Kingdom of God” interchangeably)

Jesus isn’t saying Heaven is somewhere else.  Instead he is saying heaven is in us.

So what is this kingdom of heaven?  Knowing that Jesus saw all things as one and saw clearly the dream of the dreamer, he was telling us heaven is the divine truth, the divine perspective.  Heaven is the eternal consciousness.  Heaven is the perspective of the dreamer.  Heaven is God’s reality that is our reality in contrast to the illusion of separation.

Heaven is what we experience when we experience our oneness.  Heaven is what we see when we see the light revealed by Jesus.  He is telling us we are one.  When we know this truth, when we believe in Jesus as the truth of our nature, we are experiencing heaven.

On the flip side it can be difficult for us to perceive this truth.  Like the clouds that are confusing us and are presenting a false horizon, the separation lie will confound our thinking.  Only when we turn within will we see the kingdom.  Only when we embrace the illusion as an illusion and seek the “kingdom” will “all things be added to us.”  The divine reality will spill over into our lives.  We may perceive a separation, but we will “know” a divine reality of one.

So the kingdom of heaven is our ultimate reality.  It is where we are truly ourselves.  It is where our identity is found.  It is the reality that Jesus lived and demonstrated to us.  It is what he was trying to show us.  Like in this verse:

Matt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (ESV)

Jesus is trying to tell us something very profound.  Let’s look at a few clues.

The word repent in this verse is a translation of a Greek word that means to change our minds.  We get to change our thinking.  We get to embrace the truth that Jesus reveals.  The phrase “at hand” is a translation of a Greek word that means “near” or literally “it is here.”

In a Lance Literal Translation:

From that time Jesus began to preach saying, “Change the way you think because the divine reality is right here.” (LLT)

Can you see the power and the truth in these words?  From the flip side we can know that Jesus is telling us that not only is he a representation of an enlightened human who is living from the divine reality, but all of us have access to this same divine reality.  Heaven is in all of us because it is the stuff that we all are.  Our divine nature is our truth and not the lie of separation.

Hopefully now you are beginning to see differently.  You are beginning to see what the great mystics would call “ultimate reality” or the “divine oneness” or “the all of existence” or the great “I am.”  From this new perspective we can tackle more of what Jesus meant when he talked about heaven.

Heaven isn’t a place.  Heaven is a divine reality.  The kingdom of heaven isn’t a reward.  It is our true reality.  The kingdom of God isn’t a place we go when we die.  It is the substance of who we are.

When we know this truth experientially, we are no longer confused by the false horizon, the illusion of separation, and the vertigo of our separation perspective.  We can trust our instruments.  We can look within and find our truth.  It is what Jesus meant when he said “I am the way the truth and the life.”  The “I am” is the kingdom of heaven reality and it is at the center of us all.

Yay God!

Lance

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What about Jesus?

Some of the most perplexing questions can often be the most obvious and least likely asked. Raised as a fundamentalist Christian in a very conservative denomination, we didn’t ask about Jesus, we already knew the answers.  That is what our culture was about, knowing the answers.  As a matter of fact, most often you would evaluate your spirituality based on your comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental doctrines and the memorized scriptures to support those doctrines.  We were answer people.

The quest of seeking enlightenment is about questions not answers.  The questions are far more important than any ego-mind conceived answers.  Knowledge often becomes our stumbling block.  It can be the very thing that keeps us from asking the most challenging and revealing questions.

The fundamentalist answer to “what about Jesus?” is so widely accepted as basic truth, it is rarely challenged and if it is challenged the questioner is labeled as atheist or liberal or some other categorical way of isolating “those that ask” from “those that know.”  In my denomination the accepted “truth” of Jesus was he had to come and be a god-man, perfect in every way, to be sacrificed to an angry god that would seek revenge for all us humans who fell into, or were born into a life of unforgivable sin.

What if that is an answer we conceived from an egoic mind and it was based on fear?  What if that perceived “truth” is the very thing that has kept us from asking the question, the hard question, one of the central questions that leads to an awakening of the divine consciousness within?

I believe Jesus was pointing us to something much more profound than another religious paradigm to justify staying in the dark and asleep to our true nature.  I believe he was revealing the Christ Spirit or Christ Consciousness that is the essence of what we really are.  2000 years ago, was the collective consciousness of mankind ready for such a pointing?  Was what he wanted to show us just “too much” for our way of thinking?  Is it possible that Jesus was well before his time and it has taken us this long to awaken enough to ask the hard question “what about Jesus?”

There have been mystics and sages and avatars and gurus and more who have seen and experienced the awakening of our divine consciousness.  Those greats, many of them nameless, have paved the way for the collective consciousness of mankind to awaken to the truth that Jesus revealed.  Those pointers are becoming more and more self-evident.  If you are reading this post (and haven’t already moved on) then you are likely one of those who is ready to ask the hard question.  You are ready to find confirmation of what you already “know” in a way that is beyond or before the mind and the thoughts of an ego identity.

I’m writing a book I call “the flip side.”  I hope to take the words of Jesus and look at the flip side, to see what he said in another way.  It requires an open mind and a willingness to look beyond our limitations, but it can be incredibly liberating when you see from the divine perspective of oneness.  It’s like coming home after a long time away.

I plan to share some of those flip side moments in the coming posts but as a set-up, let me share a few more words from Eckhart Tolle.  I found confirmation and great peace in his words.  I hope you do also.

CHRIST: THE REALITY OF YOUR DIVINE PRESENCE

Don’t get attached to any one word. You can substitute “Christ” for presence, if that is more meaningful to you. Christ is your God-essence or the Self, as it is sometimes called in the East. The only difference between Christ and presence is that Christ refers to your indwelling divinity regardless of whether you are conscious of it or not, whereas presence means your awakened divinity or God-essence.

Many misunderstandings and false beliefs about Christ will clear if you realize that there is no past or future in Christ. To say that Christ was or will be is a contradiction in terms. Jesus was. He was a man who lived two thousand years ago and realized divine presence, his true nature. And so he said: “Before Abraham was, I am.” He did not say: “I already existed before Abraham was born.” That would have meant that he was still within the dimension of time and form identity. The words I am used in a sentence that starts in the past tense indicate a radical shift, a discontinuity in the temporal dimension. It is a Zen-like statement of great profundity. Jesus attempted to convey directly, not through discursive thought, the meaning of presence, of self-realization. He had gone beyond the consciousness dimension governed by time, into the realm of the timeless. The dimension of eternity had come into this world. Eternity, of course, does not mean endless time, but no time. Thus, the man Jesus became Christ, a vehicle for pure consciousness. And what is God’s self-definition in the Bible? Did God say, “I have always been, and I always will be?” Of course not. That would have given reality to past and future. God said: “I AM THAT I AM.” No time here, just presence.

The “second coming” of Christ is a transformation of human consciousness, a shift from time to presence, from thinking to pure consciousness, not the arrival of some man or woman. If “Christ” were to return tomorrow in some externalized form, what could he or she possibly say to you other than this: “I am the Truth. I am divine presence. I am eternal life. I am within you. I am here. I am Now.”

Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment 

Yay God!

Lance

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Freedom From Forms

Next Monday, 21 August 2017, there will be a solar eclipse that can be seen from the northern hemisphere.  Eclipses are strange events that give us a a new perspective of our solar system.  So often the “sky” is like a picture, more 2D than 3D.  We really don’t experience the depth perception of the expansive universe that we inhabit.  I guess it takes an event like an eclipse to give us that depth perception.  Seeing the moon in front of the sun jogs our minds to see differently.

Similarly our perception of our “self” is often limited to our body, our physical form.  In reality we are much more than a physical form.  We are the infinite awareness or divine consciousness from which all the physical arises.  Our physical bodies are a projection or a manifestation of the no-thing that is all things.  Really, there is only one thing, one consciousness or “God” that manifests as physical time and space so that this consciousness can experience all of itself as seemingly something else…of course until it doesn’t see something else.

This may be a very deep thought for most but then again, we are infinitely deep.  If we let our minds take a rest from the forms and concepts we have created to be expanded by the consciousness that we really are, we begin to “see” beyond the limits of time and space.  We see our true self.  It has always been there, but often it is veiled by the objectivity required of the physical form.  Yes, our bodies need to survive, but that survival is for consciousness to have an experience of surviving and living through the illusion of limitations.

OK, that is my attempt to point us to something that is beyond the limits of the mind.  UI hope this pointing is like an eclipse for you.

In my last post I quoted Eckhart Tolle from his book “The Power of Now.”  That post was so well received, I thought I would share more from the same section entitled “Realizing Pure Consciousness.” Eckhart has the gift of teaching to point us beyond our limited self to see our true self.  I hope you enjoy more of his eloquence.

….

Realizing Pure Consciousness

When consciousness frees itself from its identification with physical and mental forms, it becomes what we may call pure or enlightened consciousness, or presence. This has already happened in a few individuals, and it seems destined to happen soon on a much larger scale, although there is no absolute guarantee that it will happen. Most humans are still in the grip of the egoic mode of consciousness: identified with their mind and run by their mind. If they do not free themselves from their mind in time, they will be destroyed by it. They will experience increasing confusion, conflict, violence, illness, despair, madness. Egoic mind has become like a sinking ship. If you don’t get off, you will go down with it. The collective egoic mind is the most dangerously insane and destructive entity ever to inhabit this planet. What do you think will happen on this planet if human consciousness remains unchanged?

Already for most humans, the only respite they find from their own minds is to occasionally revert to a level of consciousness below thought. Everyone does that every night during sleep. But this also happens to some extent through sex, alcohol, and other drugs that suppress excessive mind activity. If it weren’t for alcohol, tranquilizers, antidepressants, as well as the illegal drugs, which are all consumed in vast quantities, the insanity of the human mind would become even more glaringly obvious than it is already. I believe that, if deprived of their drugs, a large part of the population would become a danger to themselves and others. These drugs, of course, simply keep you stuck in dysfunction. Their widespread use only delays the breakdown of the old mind structures and the emergence of higher consciousness. While individual users may get some relief from the daily torture inflicted on them by their minds, they are prevented from generating enough conscious presence to rise above thought and so find true liberation.

Falling back to a level of consciousness below mind, which is the pre-thinking level of our distant ancestors and of animals and plants, is not an option for us. There is no way back. If the human race is to survive, it will have to go on to the next stage. Consciousness is evolving throughout the universe in billions of forms. So even if we didn’t make it, this wouldn’t matter on a cosmic scale. No gain in consciousness is ever lost, so it would simply express itself through some other form. But the very fact that I am speaking here and you are listening or reading this is a clear sign that the new consciousness is gaining a foothold on the planet.

There is nothing personal in this: I am not teaching you. You are consciousness, and you are listening to yourself. There is an Eastern saying: “The teacher and the taught together create the teaching.” In any case, the words in themselves are not important. They are not the Truth; they only point to it. I speak from presence, and as I speak, you may be able to join me in that state. Although every word that I use has a history, of course, and comes from the past, as all language does, the words that I speak to you now are carriers of the high-energy frequency of presence, quite apart from the meaning they convey as words.

Silence is an even more potent carrier of presence, so when you read this or listen to me speak, be aware of the silence between and underneath the words. Be aware of the gaps. To listen to the silence, wherever you are, is an easy and direct way of becoming present. Even if there is noise, there is always some silence underneath and in between the sounds. Listening to the silence immediately creates stillness inside you. Only the stillness in you can perceive the silence outside. And what is stillness other than presence, consciousness freed from thought forms? Here is the living realization of what we have been talking about.

Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Yay God!

Lance

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Realizing Pure Consciousness…

Do you remember the chemistry experiment about forming precipitates?  In this experiment, when two colorless liquids were mixed together a precipitate was formed.  That is a technical description.  What I remember is how cool it was to see the sudden appearance of color from two colorless liquids.  Out of seemingly nowhere, almost like magic, there was color.  In a very short time a solid then appeared again out of nowhere.  You may have understood the science behind the experiment, or not, but what you knew from the text-book didn’t really sink in until you performed the experiment.  I still remember the feeling of “wow! isn’t that amazing?!”

As our consciousness become conscious of itself a new understanding arises (I use “itself” only because language and words are limiting.  Consciousness is not an “it” or an object but objects arise from consciousness).  As awareness becomes aware of itself, as the observer becomes aware that it is observing, something amazing happens.  We are waking up to truth.  The precipitate is the “ah ha” of the moment.  It is as much a feeling as a knowing.  Often it can’t be described but it is something that is known beyond description.

The “knowing” was always there.  Consciousness was always there.  Awareness is always awake and observing and experiencing, we are just unconscious to “it” when we are lost to the structures and forms of the egoic mind.  The brain can’t see the unseeable but the unseeable can bubble up into the brain and a new understanding is formed.  Often it happens just like the precipitate experiment.  Two mediums are mixed and something is formed out of seemingly nothing.

Great teachers are often part of this process.  We have available to us and are one with all the wisdom and knowledge of all that there is.  It is hidden behind the veil of our illusory understanding of a temporal mindset, but it can emerge when a clear pointer is mixed with our expanding consciousness.  The “colorlessness” is when our minds let go of pre-conceived forms, opinions, concepts, beliefs, etc.  When we are open to receive, we can receive.  As Jesus said when we have eyes to see, we see.  When we have ears to hear, we hear.  A great teacher and an open mind can precipitate something amazing in an instant… when we are attentive and willing.

Eckhart Tolle is one of those great teachers for this unit I call Lance.  Since he points to the truth that is eternal, his pointing is universal and will produce the same precipitate experience in those that are ready to hear.  I want to share a short passage from his book “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.”  I expect for some this will resonate, for others it may not.  Still I hope this is the very thing you needed to “see” and “hear” in this moment of your own awakening.

Realizing Pure Consciousness…

Question: Is presence the same as Being?

When you become conscious of Being, what is really happening is that Being becomes conscious of itself. When Being becomes conscious of itself — that’s presence. Since Being, consciousness, and life are synonymous, we could say that presence means consciousness becoming conscious of itself, or life attaining self-consciousness. But don’t get attached to the words, and don’t make an effort to understand this. There is nothing that you need to understand before you can become present.

Question: I do understand what you just said, but it seems to imply that Being, the ultimate transcendental reality, is not yet complete, that it is undergoing a process of development. Does God need time for personal growth? 

Yes, but only as seen from the limited perspective of the manifested universe. In the Bible, God declares: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, and I am the living One.” In the timeless realm where God dwells, which is also your home, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, are one, and the essence of everything that ever has been and ever will be is eternally present in an unmanifested state of oneness and perfection — totally beyond anything the human mind can ever imagine or comprehend. In our world of seemingly separate forms, however, timeless perfection is an inconceivable concept. Here even consciousness, which is the light emanating from the eternal Source, seems to be subject to a process of development, but this is due to our limited perception. It is not so in absolute terms. Nevertheless, let me continue to speak for a moment about the evolution of consciousness in this world.

Everything that exists has Being, has God-essence, has some degree of consciousness. Even a stone has rudimentary consciousness; otherwise, it would not be, and its atoms and molecules would disperse. Everything is alive. The sun, the earth, plants, animals, humans — all are expressions of consciousness in varying degrees, consciousness manifesting as form.

The world arises when consciousness takes on shapes and forms, thought forms and material forms. Look at the millions of life forms on this planet alone. In the sea, on land, in the air — and then each life form is replicated millions of times. To what end? Is someone or something playing a game, a game with form? This is what the ancient seers of India asked themselves. They saw the world as lila, a kind of divine game that God is playing. The individual life forms are obviously not very important in this game. In the sea, most life forms don’t survive for more than a few minutes after being born. The human form turns to dust pretty quickly too, and when it is gone it is as if it had never been. Is that tragic or cruel? Only if you create a separate identity for each form, if you forget that its consciousness is God-essence expressing itself in form. But you don’t truly know that until you realize your own God-essence as pure consciousness.

If a fish is born in your aquarium and you call him John, write out a birth certificate, tell him about his family history, and two minutes later he gets eaten by another fish — that’s tragic. But it’s only tragic because you projected a separate self where there was none. You got hold of a fraction of a dynamic process, a molecular dance, and made a separate entity out of it.

Consciousness takes on the disguise of forms until they reach such complexity that it completely loses itself in them. In present-day humans, consciousness is completely identified with its disguise. It only knows itself as form and therefore lives in fear of the annihilation of its physical or psychological form. This is the egoic mind, and this is where considerable dysfunction sets in. It now looks as if something had gone very wrong somewhere along the line of evolution. But even this is part of lila, the divine game. Finally, the pressure of suffering created by this apparent dysfunction forces consciousness to disidentify from form and awakens it from its dream of form: It regains self-consciousness,  but it is at a far deeper level than when it lost it.

This process is explained by Jesus in his parable of the lost son, who leaves his father’s home, squanders his wealth, becomes destitute, and is then forced by his suffering to return home. When he does, his father loves him more than before. The son’s state is the same as it was before, yet not the same. It has an added dimension of depth. The parable describes a journey from unconscious perfection, through apparent imperfection and “evil” to conscious perfection.

Can you now see the deeper and wider significance of becoming present as the watcher of your mind? Whenever you watch the mind, you withdraw consciousness from mind forms, and it then becomes what we call the watcher or the witness. Consequently, the watcher — pure consciousness beyond form — becomes stronger, and the mental formations become weaker. When we talk about watching the mind we are personalizing an event that is truly of cosmic significance: Through you, consciousness is awakening out of its dream of identification with form and withdrawing from form. This foreshadows, but is already part of, an event that is probably still in the distant future as far as chronological time is concerned. The event is called — the end of the world.

Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Yay God!

Lance

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Fantastic Voyage

I haven’t posted for a while and it has been a “dry” writing season since January.  On our journey there are times when we share and times when we inquire within.  This has been an inquiry season and it has been wonderful.  Now I think I’m ready to share and I feel I must.  I hope you enjoy the journey and find the pointers to truth you’ve been seeking.  As an update, check out the revised home page.

This life really is a fantastic voyage.

Divine consciousness, which is the essence of all things, emerges as form from formlessness to become all that there is and we experience form as this divine consciousness in the objective world.  Too deep?  OK, how about God is having a dream and we are the characters in this dream?  Still too far out for your brain?  Well, it should be.  Ultimate reality is “too far out” for our brains.  Our logical, conditioned and limited minds can’t comprehend the formless.  But our true nature as awareness itself can not only perceive itself but know that it is the knowing that precedes the thoughts of knowing.  Still too much?  OK,  how about a fun pointer to what you already “know” to be true?

Have you ever seen the movie “Fantastic Voyage”?  Here is the trailer from 1966.  I didn’t see it when it first hit the movies, but I did see it in a drive-in a few years later and it really left an impression.  OK, you can try to guess my age now.  Post your guesses in the comments if you like.

What I like about this movie is how the characters’ perspectives change.  Imagine  you are these characters.  One moment you are normal size dealing with normal sized things.  In the next moment you are microscopic having to deal with a whole new universe of challenges.  Some unobserved thing you wouldn’t have even thought about before is potentially life threatening as this tiny “human.”

Now imagine you zoom out from planet Earth.  You go way way out there and look back.  you go so far that all of the universe is before your eyes.  You keep going back until all the universe is just a dot in front of you.  Now you zoom back in to planet Earth.  Can you see how small you are compared to the universe?  But still you could zoom out and see the universe.  This is the awareness you are.  It can zoom way out and be shrunk down to human size.  It can be human size and be shrunk down to enter the bloodstream of a human sized creature.

Have I lost you yet?  Here is another pointer.

Imagine you are sitting in a room on a chair.  Now imagine I take away the chair but you can float above the ground.  Are you any less you without the chair?  OK, now I take away everything else in the room.  Are you any less you without all the stuff in the room?  Now I take away the room.  What’s left?  The space that was the room is still there and you are still there in that space.  Are you still you?

Now let’s go bigger.  I take away the Earth.  Are you less you as you float in exactly the same spot you were sitting in the room?  There you are orbiting the Sun in the place where the Earth used to be.  You look toward the Sun and out past the edge of the solar system.  Now I take that away too.  There you are exactly in the place where the Earth used to be in our solar system where it used to be in the Milky Way.  Are you any less you?

I can go on and on but let’s jump to the end.  I take away all the stuff of the universe.  Are you any less you?  Look intently.  Are you any less you?  And now I take away your body.  Are you still there?  The awareness that is you is the awareness that is now aware of your body and is still aware when your body is gone.

Look around.  Is there any place you are not?  Can you “zoom” to the edge of what used to be galaxies?  Really, without the “stuff” of the universe, is there any distance?  Does space have any boundaries?  Is there any boundary to you?

Now I bring it back a bit at a time.  I add a galaxy and space appears again.  I add the solar system and the Earth and the room and all the stuff in the room and there you are sitting in the chair.  Have you changed?  In what did all the stuff appear?  If there were no edges to you before I added the objects, in what did they appear?

These are a few pointers to truth.  In “God” are all things and all things appear in that consciousness that is limitless and without boundaries.  That consciousness has no dimensions because without the objects there is no space (which is something that we use to describe the “stuff” between objects).  The consciousness we are, here on this planet, is the shrunk-down-to-a-point-we-call-this-body/mind-unit consciousness.  Really the body/mind unit arises in the consciousness that we already are to be a tool or interface with the rest of the stuff that appeared in the same consciousness.  Some would say that this machine we call a body is the manifest of the unmanifest.  It’s more than a container. It’s not what we are but exactly what we manifest.

I told you this was a fantastic voyage.  This life we are living is an incredible opportunity to become aware of the awareness we already are.  We become conscious of the awakeness that we already are.  We become enlightened to see the light that we already are.  We are both tiny enough to enter a strange world and think we are a product of the world and infinite enough to see that the world arises within us.

Do you feel like you just got miniaturized to enter the strange world of the body of Joe?  You look around and see a blood cell and say, “look there is a blood cell” and your enlightened friend says, “that isn’t a blood cell it is Joe.”  Maybe an argument ensues and there are deep theology discussions.  Maybe you call your friend a heretic or blasphemer to make your point.  Regardless, your friend was right.  That blood cell isn’t all of Joe but it is definitely a form of Joe.  You just that you forgot after you got miniaturized.  You might not know this but getting shrunk to a microscopic size can be a very traumatizing event and likely forgetting the trauma and the memory of where you came from is the best for your body/mind sanity.

Enjoy the fantastic voyage.  Look around and in wonder and ponder what it is you see.  Is that you or something else?  Did the shrinking erase your memory and you are remembering?  Did the miniaturization put you an a dreamlike state and you are waking up?  If you think about it, this fantastic voyage is pretty amazing.

Yay God

Lance

 

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