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

Grace Pointers

3 Comments Leave a comment

    • Mel, I have seen that one when you posted it. I shared it with a few friends. So many of the mystics, gurus and sages have pointed to this unintelligible truth. Some as far back as 2500 BC!?!? Check out the Bhagavad Gita or some of the Upanishads writings if you haven’t already. I’m no expert but find it so encouraging to find pointers to the same truth that Jesus revealed in another context and age. The Christ Spirit that has been ever present but often not seen or understood. Thanks Mel.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, as Paul told the Athenians in Acts 17, “your own poets…In Him we live and move and have our being.” Paul was well trained in the religion and philosophy and understood how people of other cultures intuited this truth long before Christ. Paul just named who He was. The guesswork is over. Everything is in Christ! Then, Christianity took it a step further with this cosmic reality and taught the physical resurrection of Christ, and for us to come. That’s where they thought Paul was crazy! It’s all pretty awesome!

        Liked by 1 person

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