Christ-like nature

Christ-Like Nature Within Us All

“Spiritual union is a state of the soul very clear in my perception, although I may not be able to give you a definite impression of this state. In order to benefit you, it became necessary for me to enter into your state, to have an experimental knowledge, an endurance and suffering of the same state. By this experience I have been brought into closer relation to God, partaking more fully of the Christ-like nature by being rendered capable bearing the infirmities of others. And I have had, also, a clearer idea of that quality of God, whereby he multiplies holy souls, by the communication of himself. In this experience, the soul appears to be in God, and God in her, as first cause, drawing and penetrating in the soul nearest to himself, and by penetration, in this soul, drawing, through her instrumentality, many other Souls.

“So pure and transparent is this soul, that there seems to be no space between the first Mover and the souls moved by the instrumentality. There is a difference between the ray and the body of the sun, although it is difficult to separate the ray from the sun.” ~Madam Guyon

Spiritual Union

Spiritual union can happen only when the soul becomes one with God or with the All-Soul. The body cannot unite like that, nor can the mind. Only the soul can do it. But only after the soul has been awakened. It is a difficult thing to do and few achieve it while still trapped in the realm of matter. Difficult, but well worth the effort. One who has united with the All knows the why of everything. Such a person knows, if only on a subconscious level, what is real and what is illusion. They are not easily fooled by anyone or anything. They are not likely to be drawn away from the path of ongoing enlightenment.

Christ-Like Nature

We all have a Christ-like nature within us, though it lies dormant in most. It is part of the divine soul, and few of us ever awaken that soul. We might be born with the mundane soul, the animal soul, awake, but not the divine soul that connects us to God and our Christ-like nature.

Christ is the first creation, the first child of God. God gave Christ the power to create as He did. So Christ can be considered the creative power of God. God thinks of it and Christ creates it. And that creative power is in each of us. That is our Christ-like nature. Continue reading “Christ-Like Nature Within Us All”

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palace

Palace of the Soul, Ruins in the Mind

“suppose there were a very great palace, and this were deserted, and became full of every evil smell, and of many dead bodies. Well the heart is Christ’s palace. And it is full of uncleanness, and of crowds of many wicked spirits. It must be refounded and rebuilt, and its store-chambers and bedrooms put in order; for their Christ the King, with the angels and holy spirits, come to rest, and to dwell, and to walk in it, and to set his kingdom. I tell you it is like a ship furnished with plenty of tackle, where the captain disposes of all, and sets them their tasks. … The heart has a captain in the mind, the conscience, which is ever judging us. … The heart contains many natural faculties bound up with it, and it is the mind and conscience which chides and guides the heart. …

“From the time that Adam transgressed the commandment, the serpent entered and made himself master of the house, and became like a second soul beside the soul. For the Lord says, Whoso denieth not himself and hateth not his own soul, is not my disciple. … Sin entering into the soul has become like a member of it, and is united with the bodily man, and therefore many unclean thoughts spring up in the heart.” ~St. Macarius the Egyptian

A Ruined Palace

Ruins

Heidelberg Castle

Decades ago, when I was in the Army and stationed in Germany, I visited with friends several ruined castles. It was sad to see these ancient buildings that undoubtedly took much work to build, crumbling and being the homes now of bats, snakes and worms. But there are other castles there, such as the one in Heidelberg, that have been kept up and are still functioning in one way or another. Some have been made into museums. Others are public buildings such as libraries. One of my army friends was married in Heidelberg castle, and I attended a fasching party there. Some smaller towns and cities are making an attempt to restore these old castles and palaces. But no one would hold a wedding or a party in ruins full of snakes, rats, and bugs. The vermin and filth have to be cleaned out first. Continue reading “Palace of the Soul, Ruins in the Mind”

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I and ego

I and Ego, Not Perfect, But Necessary

“Let us then begin at the beginning and remind ourselves of a few of the trite and primary facts which all practical persons agree to ignore. That beginning, for human thought, is of course the I, the Ego, the self-conscious subject which is writing this book, or the other self-conscious subject which is reading it; and which declares, in the teeth of all arguments, I AM. Here is a point as to which we all feel quite sure. No metaphysician has yet shaken the ordinary individual’s belief in his own existence. The uncertainties only begin for most of us when when we ask what else is.

“To this ‘I,’ this conscious self ‘imprisoned in the body like an oyster in his shell,’ come, as we know, a constant stream of messages and experiences. Chief among these are the stimulation of the tactile nerves whose result we call touch, the vibrations taken up by the optic nerve which we call light, and those taken up by the ear and perceived as sound.

“What do these experiences mean? The first answer of the unsophisticated Self is, that they indicative of the nature of the external world. …It is immediately apparent, however, that this sense-world, this seemingly real external universe, –though it may be useful and valid in other respects—cannot be the external world, but only the Self’s projected picture of it.” ~Evelyn Underhill

The I and Ego

Underhill has it correct. At least when it comes to physical life on earth. Our first hint of conscious thought is always I. That is to say that when we first start thinking, everything is seen and felt as it relates to us. We have no other point of reference but Self. That ego, which so many silly schools have deemed something superfluous that needs to be destroyed, is something we are born with. It is also something we will die with. It cannot be totally destroyed, and those who waste much time trying to will make little spiritual progress. Yet this concept continues to be promoted. Why? Because it benefits the government, that’s why. It doesn’t benefit the individual who loses all interest in accomplishment of any sort. It doesn’t benefit his spirit and soul if he becomes indifferent to what happens to him. But it does benefit governments. It makes sheep out of people, the so-called sheeple. Governments love sheeple. They don’t rock the boat. They don’t protest. They do what the government tells them to do. They do what the corporations who own the government tell them to do. That is why the destruction of the ego is promoted. It is not a spiritual thing at all.

The World of Senses

Yes, the world of the physical senses is the world of I and Ego. But Ego is more than just interpreting the information coming from the senses. It is also the desire to know, to learn, to grow. Take away ego, or greatly suppress it, and you have no desire to grow, to change yourself, or to make the world a better place.

The world of the physical senses may be limited, yet important. We may not like it, but we do live in the physical world, and we must function in it. That means we have to use the physical senses, even if they are limited. Of course, what we know of the physical world doesn’t come primarily from those senses. It comes from the brain’s interpretation of the senses. It is in those interpretations that many fantasies become reality to us.

Beyond Ego and Senses

But the physical senses are not the only we have. We are also equipped with spiritual senses, though we rarely use them. That is because they don’t communicate with the brain, but with the soul instead. If the soul has not been awakened, then those senses are unused. Even when awakened, what they experience may not be communicated to the conscious mind. Exceptions sometimes occur through intuition. But the development of our spiritual faculties can increase the level of that communication. Of course, it does need that much-maligned ego to communicate with.

I and Ego Summary

I and Ego may be all about the physical world, but in a sense, our spirit and soul live in our physical body. So while we dwell here, I and Ego are necessary. You might be able to do without them if you completely withdraw and become a hermit or a monk. Otherwise, you have to function in the material world as well as the physical. I and Ego make it possible to do so. The ego must be controlled—preferably by your own soul—but it is needed.

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illuminated consciousness

Illuminated Consciousness – The Mystic’s Goal

“In Illumination we come to the state of consciousness which is popularly supposed to be peculiar to the mystic: a form of mental life, a kind of perception, radically different from that of ‘normal’ men. His preceding adventures and experiences cannot be allowed the quality. His awakening to the consciousness of the Absolute—though often marked by a splendor and intensity which seem to distinguish it from other psychic upheavals of that kind—does but reproduce upon higher levels those characteristic processes of conversion and falling in love which give depth and actuality to the religious and passionate life. The purification to which he then sets himself—though this possesses as a rule certain features peculiar to mystical development—is again closely related to the disciplines and mortifications of ascetic, but not necessarily mystical, piety. … Here, the mystic does but adopt in a more dramatic form the principles which all who would live with an intense life, all seekers after freedom, all true lovers must accept. … The mystic has now a veritable foothold in that transcendental world into which they penetrate now and again.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Illuminated Consciousness

There are many interpretations of what constitutes illumination. There are probably even more about what consciousness is. Underhill here puts the two together and defines it quite simply: illuminated consciousness is that which is “peculiar to the mystic”. That might be a good definition if we were were all familiar with mystics and mysticism. Today, however, few are. For our purposes, we will keep it simple and say that a mystic is one who devotes his life to spiritual development. Real spiritual development, not just the basic first step of meditation.

A major part of spiritual development is the attainment of higher states of consciousness. How many levels of consciousness there are is a matter of conjecture. But we can say that we can’t consider ourselves at all illuminated until we climb to a level of consciousness where we understand the spiritual nearly as well as the physical. These higher states are radically different because they reveal the reality of the physical world as eventually illusion. The further reveal the spiritual realms, which are real and permanent.

Awakening Consciousness

The illuminated consciousness isn’t something that we actually awaken. What we do awaken is the soul. It is through the awakening and developing of the soul that we gain access to higher levels of consciousness. The consciousness itself is always awake and always will be.

Different levels of consciousness are basically different frequencies of energy. To reach higher levels, you need more energy. You get that higher-frequency energy from the spiritual sun. There is more to it than that, of course, but that is the first rule. More energy, more growth. The more high-frequency energy, the more illuminated consciousness you can access. And as you reach those higher levels of consciousness more regularly, it soon becomes permanent.

Religious and Passionate Life

Underwood being a very religious person naturally speaks of this achievement of illuminated consciousness as religious life. Most people today would think of it as more of spiritual life. We could also say that it is the life of a mystic, but that term is also frowned upon today. But despite the fact that many practicing today’s new-age type of spirituality are opposed to religion and often the ancient mystery schools as well, spirituality is both a part of real religion and mysticism.

Ascetic Piety

Ms. Underhill says the spiritual student who can achieve illuminated consciousness does so with methods that are similar to those of an ascetic. That may be true to some degree, but being an ascetic is not what awakens the soul. Rejecting material possessions, eating a limited and simple diet, avoiding excess of all sorts may help, but with limits. One can have material possessions as long as he doesn’t become too attached to them. There are many things that can be of some help in spiritual growth. The more we use, the more likely we are to succeed.

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