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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What’s Next?

The thought of “what’s next.”

It is hypnotic and like a drug. It compels our every thought and drives us completely from the present moment into the dream of time and space.

As an eternal being, there is not a “what’s next” because all that there is, is in the eternal moment. In the eternal moment there is no desire for “what’s next” because there is no next.

As participants in the temporal, illusory dream it is paramount we know who we are. If we are under the illusion that we are a person, then “what’s next” can be a nightmare. It can have roses and rainbows but it can also have tragedy and heartache.

When we are lost to the illusion of the separate-self, we are living as person in the most primordial, human survival mode. We insist on planning and controlling our surroundings because our most basic desire is for “what’s next” to be wonderful and happy.

Then “what’s next” happens and it is never what we planned. We are molded by a world of disappointment and conditioning. We try our best to manage expectations and inevitably withdraw into the perceived safety of separation. We avoid intimacy and create distance from others.

This “of the world” paradigm is a natural byproduct of the separate-self illusion.

But… when we come to know our true self as not a person but an eternal being, we find freedom from having to control everything. When we pull back from planning the future, based on our conditioning of the past, we find ourselves in the present moment. In this moment we are “being” not controlling.

Something wonderful happens in the present moment. We move from the desperate out-of-control feeling to control the “what’s next” into the bliss of GETTING TO experience “what’s next.”

“What’s next” is now a blessing of life unfolding. We experience the truth of our eternal self GETTING TO enjoy the beauty of time and space. It’s like we are on vacation with no expectations but instead we have the excitement of the divine manifesting in this temporal world.  We are no longer trapped by “what’s next” but free to experience life as the continuous unfolding of “what’s next.”

As the immortal being, extending itself as a physical form in this physical world, every “what’s next” is another opportunity to witness our divine self. Every moment is an eternal moment of seeing the divine in all things.

The divine that is everything arises from nothing to be all things. What a wonderful experience, the life lived of “what’s next.”

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The One

As a physical “me” lost in an identity of mind and body, the awareness that I truly am has attached itself to the illusion of a separate-self. The expression of love makes the separate-self illusion possible and necessary. “The one” as only “the one” has no thing to express love towards. Love must be expressed to be love.

Wisdom is the same. Wisdom as “the one” has no expression of wisdom. Wisdom expressed becomes the illusion of separation. In awareness there is only awareness of being aware or being aware of awareness. There are no concepts or objects to focus awareness upon. Even the word focus implies another. This is why awareness, aware of awareness is presence. In and as the presence, there is nothing else, there is no thing, and all is complete as “the one.”

In the illusion, objects appear that are physical or mental or experiences or feelings or emotions… All are bound to objectivity, all are concepts, all are phenomena, all arise from within awareness. Waking up is awareness becoming aware of itself. Waking up is awareness becoming aware of the presence that is all there is as “the one,” the whole. Then wisdom and love are seen as “the one” and the illusion as the natural expression of the whole. Duality and non-duality are concepts in the whole as expressions of “the one.” Love gives birth to itself as another, as an object of love. The child is seen and loved and the child sees and loves. God looks back upon himself. It is natural and necessary.

Still the cycle continues. Love gives birth to itself. Wisdom is expressed and takes the form of illusion. God becomes another to discover himself. In the ebb and flow of the creation, the love expression, awareness sees itself as other and then as itself.

You are an object in the movie, you are a character in a play. In this movie you are subject to the storyline in the play.  You believe you are that character. You see all that is happening to that character. You can observe the thoughts and emotions and sensations of that character.

Now ask yourself, who is the observer. Step back for a moment. Who is watching the play?

Like in this physical reality when you watch a movie you get lost in the characters and story of the movie. Pause and look around. Who is watching the movie?  If you see a person, then ask yourself “who is watching the person?”  As you continue the inquiry, eventually you find the observer, the awareness itself. In that position look about, can you find a person?  No, but you are aware of the presence that is aware. This is the true self. This is awareness being aware. This is the reality before the illusion. This is the source of love and wisdom expressed. Dwell in this place and everything else is seen as it is, God.

The father is awareness itself. The spirit is the presence that is awareness aware of itself. The son is the human expression of this truth looking back into the father through the spirit, waking up to the reality that is…..and all of it is “the one.”

Yay God!

Lance

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Disolving resistance

The ego is our resistance to reality. In the subject-object oriented mind, there is a natural conflict when we perceive ourselves as separate or the subject that is sensing, perceiving and thinking in terms of objects. We believe our thoughts are our identity. We believe our sensations and perceptions are our self. But in reality, we are just the one divine extension.  The dream world appears as separate things and when we forget we are dreaming and become the subject of the dream instead of the dreamer, we perceive a separate self.

When we wake up or have a glimpse of oneness, the resistance to that oneness is the ego resisting ultimate reality. The ego is a dreamed illusion. The only way to dissolve the ego, is to dissolve resistance. The only way to dissolve resistance is to remove the good-bad from our minds. The good-bad, or critical thinking, or judgment, is the ego trying to justify resistance.

When we say “I don’t like this” or “I want that” we are thinking as a separate self. “This and that” are objects. The first hurdle is to go beyond the good-bad which in the ego resistance, justifies those demands.  When we accept all things (love) then the door opens to see we are all things, or better said, all things aren’t things at all but modalities of the same thing. Our minds are limited to objective thought so the only way to get beyond our thoughts is love. When our minds come to rest in the truth of “no thing”, then we can open up to oneness

Our happiness bubbles up from our true self when we are no longer resisting. Often it happens when the statement “I want this” is momentarily satisfied by getting “this”, whatever “this” is. We think the happiness comes from the object but really it is the peace emerging through our true nature in the place of no resistance.

In truth there is no separate self. Lance doesn’t exist. The ego is the resistance to that truth. The ego insists that Lance exists. The fear if non-existence is the ultimate expression of good-bad. It is the fear of death in the dream state. But it isn’t real. To go from awakening to enlightenment, I have to pass through the door of non-existence. I have to let go of the desire to exist as Lance. This means I have to work through self inquiry to discover where I am clinging to a non-reality, duality, the mind trapped in objectivity.

What remains then is the dream character as the pure expression of the dreamer. All the personality of Lance, formed in the dream state, is the unique expression of the dreamer in this dreamed state. I begin to see thoughts as the objects they are and then the truth that these objects are of the same consciousness as everything else which isn’t another thing but just expressions of the same thing, namely infinite consciousness. In this way I find my true self and live as the perfect expression of that true self.

If I ignore the ego, the resistance to reality, I empower the ego. I have to face it head on and expose it to reality to see it dissolve as the illusion it is. When I feel resistance to non-existence, I am embracing the ego. I am afraid of non-existence. I am afraid of death. When I see the truth of immortality and “being”, I live! I am no longer a separate self. I no longer live in resistance. Happiness and peace are found. They emerge from my true nature. So I have to face my resistance. I have to let infinite consciousness bring grace to the resistance.

The only way to be free of the dream is to embrace the dream completely. This is love, the total acceptance of all things. This means that even the ego is not my enemy. The separate self is not my enemy. Even the separate-self, the ego, are an expression of pure consciousness. I can love it Continue reading

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Judge not lest you be judged

The door to the infinite is infinitely small. The door to higher consciousness is where thinking stops. The pathway to wisdom is before a thought is born. The escape from the dream is found in embracing the dream. All that there is is not something else because all that there is has no other. The ego is not a person but a personality-painted resistance to a perceived non-existence. The ego is not a self but a resistance to the infinite self. The ego is not another but the attempt of a self, lost to a limited perception, to make sense of an illusion of separation that the self agreed to participate in and forget it was participating in it.

There is no other of you to love, only love itself. When we really see that truth, we’ve seen the path, the ego cries out in desperation at the thought of non-existence and our death is imminent. This is why the door to ultimate reality, the path to higher consciousness, the way of enlightenment, is through the perceived separate-self as it embraces its death and the reality that it never existed in the first place.

But then pure reality, ultimate truth, life itself extends into this reality through the personality that the illusory separate-self, the ego resistance, formed in the crucible of life itself. The beauty of the uniqueness of the personality of the perceived separate-self is unfathomable. The perfection of the plan to be lost completely to an illusion of our making is like a brilliant light that makes us shield our eyes. This concentration of uniqueness and individuality empowered by pure consciousness, free of any divisive or critical thought, becomes the very Christ expression that has been the potential of every individuated extension of the whole of humanity. We are saved. We were born again into a dream that is seen as a dream that the dreamer wanted to experience as the dreamer in the dream. It is a lucid dream.

At our first glimpse, we walked and talked as a child. We reached for spiritual things. We dabbled in the gifts that became apparent in our pre-dawn yawning. But as we awoke, we grew up. As we discovered the perfection of it all, we discovered the perfection of love. We stepped out from the shadows of myths into the light of our identity.

Now faith, hope and love remain with love as the source of it all.

It is one thing to say the self doesn’t exist, that it is an illusion, but it is another to say that we are lost to the perception of a separate self in the process of waking up to our infinite self. If it were possible to wish it all away, I’m sure we would. But it seems the pathway brings us face to face with this perceived identity so we can bring it into the light of ultimate reality and watch it dissolve away. What we find is it isn’t a person that is dissolving away, but the resistance to reality that is dissolving away. That person wasn’t a person at all but a projection formed by resistance. The illusion of a separate self is the projection of the divisive thoughts empowered by the insistence of a good-bad paradigm in the mind of a dream character.

In the simplest form the compassionate compromise of the infinite expressed in the limited language of a finite mind looks like this:

Judge not lest you be judged…

Sometimes the dissolving process takes a little agitation when you want quick results….

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The Christ Spirit

We all have the “Spirit of Christ” and can wake up to that reality.

The Christ is in us and it is our certain expectation of magnificence and great beauty.

The Christ is all in all.

Did you know all those statements are in the Christian Bible?

Christ means anointed or chosen one.  The question is chosen one or anointed for what?  In the Christian religious tradition, the Christ was the awaited Jewish messiah.  In one interpretation of the atonement, the Christ was a sacrifice to an angry god so that the rest of humanity would have a chance to avoid an eternal torment that this “god” would inflict on all humanity.  Under this construct this angry “god” needed to punish imperfection, which is the core of every human.  The believers in this doctrine would call this necessary horrific sacrifice, an act of love.  Of course it comes with strings like having to believe a certain way or be baptized or say a prayer, etc. in order to receive this “act of grace.”

For me that concept just didn’t feel right.  How about you?  Deep down, does the idea of an angry god, which must punish people in a horrific way, make any sense?  Does your innermost voice resonate with the concept of a human sacrifice?  I bet not.  Let me suggest there is another way to see “the Christ.”

Christ is not Jesus’ last name.  It was his designation.  He was the chosen one.  Again, chosen for what?  He was “chosen” to bring revelation and wisdom and understanding.  The bible calls it “the light.” The human race was lost to the illusion, in the dark regarding our true nature.

The lie of our perceived reality is we are separate, especially from God.  Jesus showed us we are an extension of God.  He said things like “I and the Father are one.”  He said we are in him and he is in us and he is in God.  What a wonderful way of saying we are one.  He “prayed” that we would know our oneness like he did.  He challenged the religious Pharisees (separatist) that their religion was not pointing to God.  He challenged us in our understanding while questioning our desire for judgment and division and exclusion.  He told us to love each other as ourselves because we are one.  He said to love God and love each other which are the natural state of an individual that sees they are part of a whole.  When we awaken to our true nature, our oneness, our divine nature, we can’t help but love ourselves and each other.  Jesus was the Christ for this purpose.

Now consider this: The Bible says we all have the spirit of Christ. I believe the “spirit” reference here is a personification of divine wisdom and revelation, the consciousness of God. Then the spirit of Christ would be the revelation and wisdom of the divine consciousness as expressed through the human.  This is what Jesus did and he was considered a perfect human.  A perfect human is one who is awake to the ultimate reality of the divine consciousness.  “I and the father are one.”  This is our purpose, to awaken to our divine nature. When we do, and we express this nature through our human form, we are being the Christ.  We are the chosen ones to bring revelation to lost or light to the darkness.

When we awaken to this divine reality, we can’t help but express love as Jesus did.  When we become aware of the oneness of all things, then all things are God or an expression of God.  God is all things and God is in all things and all things reveal God.  There is nothing outside of God, nothing outside the infinite God-consciousness.  The bible says that all things are in God and he holds all things together.  When we see that, and even better experience that reality, we are experiencing Love.  Love is the acceptance of all things.  God loves himself and when we see we are an extension of him, we love all things because all things are him.  We would never have a thought of rejecting our toe on our foot.  We would never entertain rejecting another human who is just us in another physical form.  This is why Jesus could say “love your enemy”, “love your neighbor as yourself”, “love God and love your neighbor”, “don’t judge or you are brining judgment on yourself.”  Can you see now the beauty of the Jesus revelation or the manifestation of the Christ?

How about a picture or allegory that might help?

Imagine God is dreaming and we are the dream.  His/her consciousness is dreaming this dream.  We are the characters in this dream.  Since the dream is in his/her consciousness, we are that consciousness.  We are the dream of the dreamer.  From that perspective we can see that we are all that there is.  We can see that we can be nothing other than one as the consciousness of God.  Our ego serves the purpose of seeing separation and a physical reality, but it is a tool that allows God to see himself as and through us.  Our true self is the divine consciousness.

OK, maybe all of that is a little too ethereal or philosophical. But maybe it is the key you’ve been looking for.  Maybe this unlocks a door to understanding.  Maybe you have been struggling with the religious images of our traditions and this sets you free to know what you have always known.

Wherever you are in your journey know this:  Jesus said we should follow him.  The greatest form of adoration (worship) is to emulate another.  We can do this by awakening to our divine nature as expressed in his life.  His revelation will set us all free if we are willing to follow him.  Then we can express the Christ Spirit that is in all of us.  We can love others and ourselves as God loves himself.

Yay God!

Lance

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