God Isn’t Punishing Us, We Punish Ourselves

“The Yogi teachings related to the law of Karma do not teach us that sin is an offense against the Power which brought us into being, so much as it is an offense against ourselves. We cannot injure the Absolute, nor harm It in any way. But we may harm each others, and in so doing harm ourselves. The Yogis teach that sin is largely a matter of ignorance and misunderstanding of our true nature … The Yogis view the sinning soul as the parent does the child who will persist in playing with forbidden things [until he is injured]. The injury is not a punishment for the disobedience … but comes in obedience to a natural law which is invariable. … The parent sought to save the child the pain of the burn, and yet the child-nature persisted in experimenting, and was taught the lesson.” ~William Walker Atkinson

Many people believe that God Himself is punishing us when we do something wrong or something stupid. As Mr. Atkinson points out, that is neither true, nor necessary. God simply has laws, as does nature, and those who insist those laws can be violated quickly find they can’t. An insane person may believe that he can jump from an airplane without a parachute and drift slowly to the ground like a flying squirrel, but the law of gravity says otherwise and I haven’t heard of a case yet where gravity failed to win that argument. I know, of course, that there are a few well-documented cases of people levitating a few feet off the ground, but that is not quite the same as jumping from a plane 5000 feet above the ground. And the person who is levitating, assuming he is not just a clever magician, is not really defying gravity, but rather working with it. He uses esoteric methods to temporarily reduce the weight of his body until he is lighter than air and starts floating in complete compliance with the law of gravity. When he increases his weight again, he quickly descends. Continue reading “God Isn’t Punishing Us, We Punish Ourselves”

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Take Responsibility and Stop Blaming God

“You should know that the body’s sufferings belong to it by nature, inasmuch as it is corruptible and material. The disciplined soul must, therefore, gratefully show itself persevering and patient under such sufferings, and must not blame God for having created the body.
“Those who compete in the Olympic games are not crowned after achieving victory over their first opponent, or their second or third, but only after they have defeated every one of their competitors. In the same way, therefore, all who wish to be crowned by God must train their souls to be disciplined in respect not only of bodily matters, but also of love of gain, rapacity, mode of life, envy, self-esteem, abuse, death, and all such things.” ~The Philokalia

When we suffer from physical illnesses, many of us like to find someone or something to blame for it. Our job makes us work long hours and stresses us out and that results in illness. There are too may chemicals and GMOs in the food we eat and that makes us ill. The radiation from cell phones, lights, Televisions, computes, and so on is weakening us and making us get sick. To various degrees, all of those things are true. What is definitely not true is that God is art fault. God does not make us sick, or injure us, or make us go blind, yet many like to blame Him. This is partially due to our tendency to avoid responsibility, but also because of the mistaken belief that our material bodies were created by God. God did not create our physical bodies, or anything else that is material. He created the spiritual reality that underlies it all, but not the matter. If God created it, there would be no disease, no death, no suffering, so obviously, it is not His creation, but that of the fallen angels. Even if God had created our physical bodies originally, who is responsible for what has happened to them since we were born twenty, forty, or even sixty years ago? The blames, if we are truly honest, rests almost entirely with ourselves. Yes there are harmful chemicals in processed foods, but we can choose to eat minimally processed organic foods. We can choose to sit in front of the TV, or get us and take a walk, or go to the gym. As Dumbledore told Harry potter, it is our choices that make us what we are, at least physically. Continue reading “Take Responsibility and Stop Blaming God”

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Living Between Two Worlds

“To all that is finite, the universe must be treated as real, and life, and action, and thought, must be based thereupon accordingly, although with an ever understanding of the Higher Truth. … Were THE ALL to imagine that the universe were indeed reality, then woe to the universe, for there would be then no escape from lower to higher, divineward—then would the universe become a fixity and progress would become impossible. And if man … thinks of the universe as merely a dream then indeed does it so become for him, and like a sleepwalker, he stumbles around in a circle, making no progress. … Keep your mind ever on the Star, but let your eyes watch over your footsteps, lest you fall into the mire by reason of your upward gaze.” ~The Three Initiates

We are caught between two worlds, two dimensions. One is the material universe, which the Three Initiates simply refer to as “the universe” in the quote. The other world, the higher world, is the spiritual realm. Trying to straddle between the two is certainly challenging so it is understandable that some give up trying and choose one or the other worlds to function in.

On one side of the equation, we have the complete materialist who denies that anything spiritual exists. This makes live fairly easy for him. He needs not worry about paying for his misdeeds in an afterlife if he doesn’t believe such a thing is real. He doesn’t have to consider the damage he does to his immortal soul when he commits foul deeds such as murder if he doesn’t believe he has a soul. Not quite as bad as the materialist, we have those who think there may be an afterlife, an immortal soul and spirit, a God, but that while they are trapped in the land of matter, they should concentrate all of their efforts on dealing with the material world and being successful in it. That attitude seems reasonable to many, but it is like a person who has fallen off a boat and is struggling to stay afloat: he thinks he must constantly swim to keep from sinking, but exhausts himself by never resting which results in his drowning sooner. Continue reading “Living Between Two Worlds”

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Unified Consciousness – linking the Levels

“We must be ‘oned with bliss’ if we are to be aware of it. That aspect of our being by which we may attain this communion—that ‘marrow of the Soul,’ as Ruysbroeck calls it—usually lies below the threshold of our consciousness; but in certain natures of abnormal richness and vitality, and under certain favorable conditions, it may be liberated by various devices, such as contemplation. Once it has emerged, however, it takes up, to help it in the work, aspects of conscious self. The surface must co-operate with the deeps, and at last merge with those deeps to produce that unification of consciousness upon high levels which alone can put a term to man’s unrest.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Becoming one with “bliss”, or more accurately, one with God, is indeed the way to truly expand consciousness to higher levels. It is also true that when our soul is awakened and our consciousness on that level starts to grow, the surface level of consciousness, or ego, is generally unaware of it and may remain so for years. Nonetheless, that spiritual awareness, that Divine Consciousness, may be growing below that surface.

Underhill says it may be “liberated” by various devices including contemplation, and that is also true. She doesn’t really explain what this “liberation” involves. Basically, you must convince the surface consciousness of the ego to allow the higher consciousness of the soul to surface and gain some degree of control. This is not an easy thing to do and many struggle with it for years. The ego does not give us it’s total control and power easily. You have to convince it that it benefits by allowing the soul consciousness to come to the surface occasionally. As Underhill correctly states, the surface must cooperate with “the deeps” or the higher consciousness of the Soul if one is to achieve unification of consciousness, even briefly. Continue reading “Unified Consciousness – linking the Levels”

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