Who is The Real Jesus

Argument over who is the real Jesus may go on forever. But here are the five main ideas vying for preeminence.
(1). The literal argument: The gospels give us the real Jesus. There is no need to look further. The
gospels do show us Jesus way of living. They are full of spiritual genius. But they do not prove anything about Jesus except his enlightened way of being.
(2). The rationalist argument: The facts about Jesus have vanished over time. The four gospels are unreliable as evidence about the actual person of Jesus. Thomas Jefferson, Albert Schweitzer and others held this viewpoint. They valued the teachings of Jesus but not the history.
(3). The mystical argument: The real Jesus was never physical-he was, is the Holy Spirit. This was the basic heretical teaching of the docetic, gnostic Christians of the second century church. Jesu only seemed to be a real person.
(4). The skeptical argument: There was no real Jesus to begin with. He is a figment of theological imagination.
(5). The conscious argument: Jesus exists in our awareness at the level of God consciousness.
(These five arguments are taken from Deepak Chopra’s book, The Third Jesus, pages 130-139.)
I accept the consciousness argument as the most valid and helpful. I firmly believe the abundant historical evidence that Jesus was a real person and the mos t significant person in at least Western history. The gospels when studied closely are sometimes confusing and somewhat contradictory on Jesus. The consciousness argument is a valid way to fulfill the essence of Jesus’ teaching and provide all people access to him within themselves.
I believe that Jesus since his death has existed as a risen spiritual body or soul in eternity with God and all other souls. I do not believe his physical body was resurrected. The resurrection stories are written as important parables to teach the reality of his continuing life. But Paul in I Corinthians 15 say clearly Jesus was not raised a physical body but a spiritual one which is how we all are raised when our time comes.
Jesus also lives in us at the level of God-consciousness. This is the real Jesus. The first four arguments above cannot fully explain things. But when we consciously choose to invite Jesus to dwell in our conscious lives, he does so. This is the real Jesus that counts; he lives in us by spirit to be our pattern and guide to becoming our best, highest selves which is God’s goal for us. There are other great teachers of helpfulness and enlightenment that can abide in our consciousness also. This does not demote Jesus but it shows how truly accessible for all people. We can be certain of this real Jesus who abides in our consciousness to help us become son and daughter of God , also.
Following this view, we don’t waste time and energy trying to prove ourselves superior to other groups, religions or people. We don’t worry about proving others wrong or ourselves right. We are conscious of God within and Jesus as our helping guide and goal in our becoming our highest self.

# 22, Conversion Arises From Within

In the classic work, The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, James states that conversion arises from within a person from their subconscious or we might say from their soul where the right is known but may not be paid attention to. The soul is our true self. It is eternal and it is connected to God. Becoming aware of this connection and paying attention to it brings us into God consciousness which is salvation. Conversion then comes from within and not by invasion from without.
In Luke 17: 21 Jesus said to the unbelieving Pharisees, “For behold the Kingdom of God is within you (in your hearts) and among you (surrounding you).” (Amplified Bible). These words are not spoken to his disciples but people who are not changed, not converted. So we ask is the kingdom of God in all of us? And the answer is yes. The Kingdom of God abides in the soul of the changed and the unchanged. Salvation arises and Christ comes to dwell in us when we listen to our own true self, our soul, and seek to develop our relationship to God. Then we are conscious of the Christ within and can follow him by listening to the inner voice of our true self which is the voice of Divine Spirit or Christ to us. This salvation is an inner experience that is already there but we are not awakened to it.
Of course those who have been spiritually changed, see, inherit, feel, and follow the guidance of the Rule of God in their heart. They follow the laws of the Kingdom and therefore have the resources of God working for them. As E. Stanley Jones said in his marvelous book, Abundant Living, “ The Kingdom works with them and not against them. Those who are not changed find the Kingdom is within them, but they are at cross purposes with it. In the changed person the Kingdom works as self realization, and in the unchanged person it works as self frustration. But it is there in both.” (p. 11).
The laws our soul seeks to remind us of are the very laws of God. They are not imposed upon us but they are written into the very structure of our being. They are in our different cells and tissues. They flow through our bloodstream. Just as an engineer stamps into an engine as to how it is to work, God has stamped onto us how we are to work. We are to work according to rule and law of God. The Old Testament calls this inner stamping the image of God. A train is made to run on the tracks but if it jumps the tracks it loses its freedom and self destructs. By staying on the tracks it was made for, it finds freedom, does its work and gets to where it is destined to be. (Borrowed from Abundant Living, P.11).
We need to learn to listen to the Kingdom of God within us for freedom, efficiency, and fulness of life which are built into your being and mine. Let us learn from our soul by choosing God’s Rule!

# 21, God’s Answer to Job

God’s answer to Job on why good people sometimes suffer horribly is found in Job chapters 40-41 where God speaks to Job out of the whirlwind and answers his question by pointing him to two mythological creatures), Behemoth (probably based on the hippopotamus or a great bull) and Leviathan
(possibly based on the Egyptian crocodile).
In the poetic language of God’s speech in this play, Behemoth and Leviathan are heightened to mythological status. As such Behemoth represents what Sigmund Freud called the Id and Eros, the Primal Life Force. Part of this Primal Life Force (PLF) is sexual as represented in 40: 16′s reference to the male sex organ of Behemoth. This sexual aspect of PLF is responsible for more pain, more joy and more anguish than anything else in God’s universe. But without this PLF there would be not marital love, children, or a great desire to improve the world for the next generation. Would you want such a world?
Another part of Behemoth’s meaning is the acquisitive instinct. This produces competition to do more and have more of the good life. This leads to creativity, civilizations. It also makes for social problems such as crime, poverty, diseases, jealousy, etc.
And what of Leviathan? He stands for chaos. In the Genesis creation story, God creates order from chaos. However, a bit of chaos has always remained. It is never completely done away with. In this orderly world chaos plays an ongoing role in God’s world and ongoing creation.
Order is the face of chaos and chaos is the face of order. God’s order always lies underneath chaos. If you go to Grand Central Station in New York City and observe from a high spot, you will see thousands of people milling about in apparent utter chaos. It looks like a madhouse. But in reality order lies underneath. Everyone there is moving towards a particular destination. Each has a purpose in mind and knows what gate they are going to. So how does chaos play a role in God’s on going creation and world?
Some years back, a ground ball in the World Series hit a pebble, causing an error and causing one team, in a moment, to lose the Series and the other team to win it. Was this result God’s will? No! But it is God’s will that we live in a free world where chance and time play a role in all things. (Ecclesiastes 9: 11-12).
As the eighteenth century philosopher Liebnitz said, “God has not given us a perfect world for that would mean that it is finished. It is not finished and God calls us to the joy to be co-creators with him and help make it the good world it can be. We have the potential to become gods and create good. But without what Behemoth and Leviathan represent as a part of this world, we might be obedient but we would not be truly good. Goodness is always a choice and the choice is always ours. The philosopher Liebnitz was correct, “God has not given us a perfect world but the best of all possible worlds.” It is a free world where there is the chance that bad things will happen to good people. In this world, suffering is a random possibility.
Some argue like this, “Why did not God destroy Hitler before he could come to power?” But God asks, “Why did so many of you vote for him in the first place?” Hitlers can arise because we always have a choice. (For much more on this see Harold Kushner’s wonderful book, “The Book of Job, When bad things Happen to a Good Person.” Can be checked out in Unger’s Library.)

# 20, The Magic of Paying Attention

The quantum field teaches us the magic of attention that we can apply to prayer and meditation. In the field, clouds of subatomic particles make up atoms. They are too small to measure. They have fancy names like quarks, bosons and leptons. They are too small to measure. We can’t see them but we know they exist because they leave trails behind them in particle accelerators that can be photographed.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about these particles is that they come into existence when we pay attention to them, observe them. If you turn attention on them they blink into existence. If you turn away from them , they disappear into a void.
If we pay attention to needs we ask for in prayer and meditation and mentally surround ourselves with a sense that we have the answer already that we need , then the answer that we need tends to blink into existence and come to us at a very right time. This is paying attention to the answer and acting in quietness and trusting confidence as if we have it already and our focused attention will bring to us what we need, (Isa. 30: 15). This is resting in God, believing that what we need will come to us as we need it and we focus our creative attention on it by living and thinking as if we have the answer already. And it helps to constantly picture the answer coming to whenever we most need it. This the magic of anticipatory attention through visualization.
Not paying attention to our needs and desires of prayer and meditation causes our answers to disappear into a void. Faith, prayer and meditation have creative power when we envelope ourselves with our desires in calm relaxed faith and act as if we already have what we have desired. And of course to have what we need we must not rigidly demand the fulfillment of our need or desire to come in a certain way. We must trust in confidence and peace that the answer we need will appear and be open to all possibilities. Then we will recognize our answer when it comes.
This is the magic of attention both in the field of physics and in prayer and meditation. In prayer and meditation we are co-creators with God of our lives and our world. And in reality it is an enchanted world we live in.

# 19, How To Pray Without Ceasing

I Thessalonians 5: 17 commands, “Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” How can we pray without ceasing? Does it mean we should be uttering a prayer all the time mentally or orally. No, it most assuredly does not mean this, for that would be absurd vain repetition. But prayer without ceasing does mean turning our heart toward God often in our daily lives.
We pray successfully when we do not ask amiss by asking for something to spend upon our selfish pleasures, that is upon our ego needs. Our egos hunger for approval from the world. Ego needs are thus always centered upon objects such as persons, accomplishments, situations things, money, etc. We center upon objects because we are looking for approval. All object or ego centeredness is based upon fear. The preacher wants the successful church so he can have more approval. You may want a new situation to increase your approval rating.
James 4: 3 speaks to ego centered prayer. He says it is asking amiss or missing the mark. He says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it upon your pleasures.”
Praying without ceasing is to be filled with and project compassion. Compassion is the language of God and his universe. Feeling and projecting compassion is the way to pray successfully without ceasing at all times. In the Old Testament it is said, “ Be holy for God is holy!” But Jesus teaches, “Be compassionate for God is compassionate!”
Compassion is the key to praying successfully because our thoughts and emotions have the power to influence matter. The universe was created and is sustained by mind over matter.
Three major experiments in the 90′s proved that our thoughts and emotions can effect our DNA’s behavior instantaneously. In each case, extracted live DNA was taken
from a subject’s cells and placed in a vacuum tube and moved from 100 feet to 350 miles away from the subject. Then the subject was exposed to material that evoked emotions that ranged from horror and revulsion to ecstasy, love and compassion. An atomic clock was used to time the response of the DNA’s response to its owners thoughts and emotions. In each case the DNA responded immediately to the subject’s reactions. Feelings of horror and revulsion twisted the DNA into a knotted like mass. Feelings of joy, love and compassion relaxed the DNA into its normal ladder like position.
Prayer and meditation with love and meditation works wonders. We live in a magical, enchanted universe because the Divine Conscious Spirit that created it connects everything together. Quantum physics has demonstrated that our observation actually changes the behavior of sub atomic particles. A photon is ordinarily a wave of light but when we observe it, it becomes a particle. This observation effect was discovered several decades ago. Sincere compassion in believing meditation and prayer can effect the nature in which we live, move and have our being.
An outstanding Tibetan Buddhist monk was asked by a computer scientist and religious and philosophical researcher, Greg Braden, “Is compassion a force of creation or is it an experience?” Thoughtfully, the monk answered with great force, “It is both a force in the universe as well as a human experience.”
I tell you, living in non-judgment of all things with deep compassion is the most exciting adventure we can ever enter into. Do not judge what the answer to your prayer should be. Just live envisioning your prayer as if it is already answered. Live, seeing the answer as if it is current reality. See it in your imagination. Feel it with compassion for all concerned, including yourself. Stay open to all possibilities. Do not judge what exact possibility you should receive. Accept with Thanksgiving whatever comes. Jesus said, “Therefore I say unto you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Walking in compassion and imagining the request as already fulfilled is praying without ceasing.
Let us illustrate this from two other writings.
John 16: 23 says, “And in that day you will ask me nothing. Most assuredly, I say unto you, whatever you ask the Father in my name; He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.” What does it mean to ask in Jesus’ name? And how may your joy be full?
An ancient Aramaic translation of John 16: 23-24 gives explanation of these words and what asking in Jesus name means and how your joy may be full. Aramaic is a corrupted version of Hebrew that Jesus spoke. And it is the language that the Essenes who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls used. This translation is taken from the book, Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus. It says, “All things that you ask straightly and directly…from inside my name-you will be given. So far you haven’t done this…so ask without hidden motive and be surrounded by your answer-Be enveloped by what you desire, that your gladness be full.”
Asking in Jesus’ name means asking according to his character, his way of life, his attitudes. As we have said , this means first getting your selfish, fear based ego desires out of the way. Ego repels the power to receive our answers; it is asking with hidden motives and not straightly and directly.
Your joy becomes full by you surrounding yourself with your answer. This is done by practicing the greatest principle in psychology, the “as if” principle. You must live and think always as if you have the answer already, surround yourself with your answer. Do not demand any certain answer. Just live as if you already have all that you need. Surround yourself constantly with this assurance. Envelope yourself with your desires of the health or wealth of Spirit and material things that you need and envelope yourself with the sense and belief that you have what you desire already. This draws the answer, solution to you.
But be open as to what form the answer shall come in and then accept what comes with gratitude. To demand the answer in a certain form causes you to miss it. You must live with the uncertainty of how your answer will come to you but with the certainty that the correct answer that is best for your soul will come. This enables you to live with peace, knowingness, and compassion for all. Being enveloped with compassion is praying with out ceasing.

# 19, How to Pray Without Ceasing

I Thessalonians 5: 17 commands, “Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” How can we pray without ceasing? Does it mean we should be uttering a prayer all the time mentally or orally. No, it most assuredly does not mean this, for that would be absurd vain repetition. But prayer without ceasing does mean turning our heart toward God often in our daily lives.
We pray successfully when we do not ask amiss by asking for something to spend upon our selfish pleasures, that is upon our ego needs. Our egos hunger for approval from the world. Ego needs are thus always centered upon objects such as persons, accomplishments, situations things, money, etc. We center upon objects because we are looking for approval. All object or ego centeredness is based upon fear. The preacher wants the successful church so he can have more approval. You may want a new situation to increase your approval rating.
James 4: 3 speaks to ego centered prayer. He says it is asking amiss or missing the mark. He says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it upon your pleasures.”
Praying without ceasing is to be filled with and project compassion. Compassion is the language of God and his universe. Feeling and projecting compassion is the way to pray successfully without ceasing at all times. In the Old Testament it is said, “ Be holy for God is holy!” But Jesus teaches, “Be compassionate for God is compassionate!”
Compassion is the key to praying successfully because our thoughts and emotions have the power to influence matter. The universe was created and is sustained by mind over matter.
Three major experiments in the 90′s proved that our thoughts and emotions can effect our DNA’s behavior instantaneously. In each case, extracted live DNA was taken
from a subject’s cells and placed in a vacuum tube and moved from 100 feet to 350 miles away from the subject. Then the subject was exposed to material that evoked emotions that ranged from horror and revulsion to ecstasy, love and compassion. An atomic clock was used to time the response of the DNA’s response to its owners thoughts and emotions. In each case the DNA responded immediately to the subject’s reactions. Feelings of horror and revulsion twisted the DNA into a knotted like mass. Feelings of joy, love and compassion relaxed the DNA into its normal ladder like position.
Prayer and meditation with love and meditation works wonders. We live in a magical, enchanted universe because the Divine Conscious Spirit that created it connects everything together. Quantum physics has demonstrated that our observation actually changes the behavior of sub atomic particles. A photon is ordinarily a wave of light but when we observe it, it becomes a particle. This observation effect was discovered several decades ago. Sincere compassion in believing meditation and prayer can effect the nature in which we live, move and have our being.
An outstanding Tibetan Buddhist monk was asked by a computer scientist and religious and philosophical researcher, Greg Braden, “Is compassion a force of creation or is it an experience?” Thoughtfully, the monk answered with great force, “It is both a force in the universe as well as a human experience.”
I tell you, living in non-judgment of all things with deep compassion is the most exciting adventure we can ever enter into. Do not judge what the answer to your prayer should be. Just live envisioning your prayer as if it is already answered. Live, seeing the answer as if it is current reality. See it in your imagination. Feel it with compassion for all concerned, including yourself. Stay open to all possibilities. Do not judge what exact possibility you should receive. Accept with Thanksgiving whatever comes. Jesus said, “Therefore I say unto you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Walking in compassion and imagining the request as already fulfilled is praying without ceasing.
Let us illustrate this from two other writings.
John 16: 23 says, “And in that day you will ask me nothing. Most assuredly, I say unto you, whatever you ask the Father in my name; He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.” What does it mean to ask in Jesus’ name? And how may your joy be full?
An ancient Aramaic translation of John 16: 23-24 gives explanation of these words and what asking in Jesus name means and how your joy may be full. Aramaic is a corrupted version of Hebrew that Jesus spoke. And it is the language that the Essenes who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls used. This translation is taken from the book, Prayers of the Cosmos: Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus. It says, “All things that you ask straightly and directly…from inside my name-you will be given. So far you haven’t done this…so ask without hidden motive and be surrounded by your answer-Be enveloped by what you desire, that your gladness be full.”
Asking in Jesus’ name means asking according to his character, his way of life, his attitudes. As we have said , this means first getting your selfish, fear based ego desires out of the way. Ego repels the power to receive our answers; it is asking with hidden motives and not straightly and directly.
Your joy becomes full by you surrounding yourself with your answer. This is done by practicing the greatest principle in psychology, the “as if” principle. You must live and think always as if you have the answer already, surround yourself with your answer. Do not demand any certain answer. Just live as if you already have all that you need. Surround yourself constantly with this assurance. Envelope yourself with your desires of the health or wealth of Spirit and material things that you need and envelope yourself with the sense and belief that you have what you desire already. This draws the answer, solution to you.
But be open as to what form the answer shall come in and then accept what comes with gratitude. To demand the answer in a certain form causes you to miss it. You must live with the uncertainty of how your answer will come to you but with the certainty that the correct answer that is best for your soul will come. This enables you to live with peace, knowingness, and compassion for all. Being enveloped with compassion is praying with out ceasing.

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# 18, Revelation and Redemption

Jesus was not just wise. He received knowledge directly from God. Most Christians, as the organized church became entrenched, came to think that Jesus’ connection to God was unique, that only he could speak revealed knowledge. I think this is a wrong view. I believe it developed as the church became very organized and gained prestige. Organized, established institutions often want only those in authority to have the control of revelation, knowledge, to control the people and one time revelation for once and all time is easier to control than revelation that can break through anywhere to anyone.
But I believe that the purpose of Jesus was to raise us all to our highest level and be like him in our connection to God. A higher consciousness of God has been and is the goal of many other cultures and religions. And in these, direct knowledge of Divine Spirit is a mark of higher consciousness.
All thinking occurs in the mind. The closer one gets to the mind’s source, the soul, the more one’s thoughts seem like revelations because they are different from thoughts connected to every day happenings and personal memories. It seems we are connecting to reality itself. This reality is often called the wisdom of the soul. For our souls are where the Kingdom of God resides. Our souls are connected to God and we realize this connection when we become open to it, believing in it. We are not meant to live in a sense of separation from God and the world. We are meant to have the revelation personally that we are one with both God and the world and then walk in that truth. This is called walking in the Spirit.
This experience is possible for anyone and many call it living in higher awareness or consciousness.
It is an aspect of intuition, which we all have but we may not have developed it much or recognized it. It is through this intuition that we learn our true self, our soul which is eternal.
But this intuitive gift of revelation was Jesus main source of teaching knowledge. A question would be asked and he spoke as God would speak for he he answered from his soul where God abode. Very plainly the mind of Jesus was one with the mind of God. In a way this is a terrifying model of spirituality to emulate. Can we ever seriously think we can receive thoughts directly from God?
Well, why shouldn’t we think this? If Jesus wasn’t out to help us have this kind of solid relationship with God, what was he out for? Everyone at times is struck by intuitive ideas, lightening flashes of insight that seem to come from nowhere. But these are actually windows into a higher awareness. Why are we to walk the spiritual path if our minds can not be trained to access God. It is actually most reasonable to think that insight, intuition, personal revelation can be attained on the spiritual path for all of us. I believe that Jesus did not come to be a one time supernatural event, which would really limit God, but he came as an example of someone who has reached the goal and we can also! This is redemption! Religion should be much more than a forgiveness of sins and going to heaven when you die.

# 17, Nothing Will Be Impossible

Matthew 17: 14-20 has an interesting story. “When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, and said, “Lord have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly;
he often falls into the fire and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.
In this ancient culture, casting out a demon was synonymous with casting out the sickness or disease. They wrongly believed that almost every sickness was caused by a demon. So do not worry about this term or usage. This was just their cultural understanding. There are no literal demons inhabiting human bodies causing sickness. Their is however demonic behavior which simply means self destructive or self defeating behavior. There are no literal demons.
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could not we cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
This is not a typical attitude for Jesus. He shows frustration and disappointment in his students. They have been told they have the power to heal, yet they fail. The higher consciousness of Spirit in Jesus is on a different level from everyone else. This is always frustrating. However, we can be like Jesus.
In one place Jesus teaches that it only takes a small bit of faith to do miracles. But here he implies that if you can’t do miracles, you have no faith at all. Perhaps this is rabbinic exaggeration to make his point very clear. Miracles begin within us! We each must find the place within us where nothing is impossible. The word faith wraps up the whole spiritual path we must walk to where Jesus is. And where is Jesus? He is in the place of consciousness, awareness, that knows that, “What is impossible
with men is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27).
Every great positive achievement in human history has come from someone or some group who dreamed and imagined it in the place within themselves where all things are possible. You and I can move the mountains or problems that we need to move. Nothing is impossible for us to overcome. And the miracle of overcoming always begins within us where God consciousness dwells. One thing that faith must believe is that nothing is impossible.

# 16, Jesus’ Faith That God Provides

Jesus taught us to have faith that God would provide. He taught this at a time when many of his followers were poor. Some did not know where the family’s next day meal was coming from. With startling images he taught saying, “And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you-you of little faith?”
Here Jesus teaches a simple, revolutionary idea that is the exact opposite of what we think about existence. Jesus wanted us to trust that the universe is a friendly place and let God take care of everything.
We should give even the most basic needs to God to handle. But we know that clothes to wear and other necessities require some work on our part, so what did he mean by saying God would provide it? He meant that we need emotional freedom from the burden of work and the worry of things needed. We need freedom from the burden of suffering over the seeming shortage of necessities.
He says to look at nature that provides everything that every entity, plant or animal , needs to survive. And nature is the book, the expression of God’s heart. It was written long before any sacred scriptures were. Nature provides for all in it without them worrying of fearing or killing themselves with overwork. The plants of the field and the birds of the air receive their provision daily without a sense of worry or burden of fear. This is the way God provides our needs if we will open our souls to it and be in unity and peace with the moment without worry.
If we do this we become free not of work but of the burden of work and the burden of worry, fear and suffering. We do what we are called to do in our place of doing, that is the way God provides for us naturally through the nature he rules. We think our existence depends upon struggle because we are complex creatures who are different from the animals of nature and the lilies of the field. In Jesus’ teaching this is a grave mistake.
We are created by the same Spirit which created all of nature. We are one with nature. As plants and animals naturally be what they are without worry and receive nature’s provision, so God will provide for us. But to receive this provision and receive it we need to chose to nurture our soul by being in tune with the Spirit who holds the universe together and choose to be aware of our soul’s connection to God and nature’s provision will naturally flow to us. This is the rule of a gracious Creator.
Again, we are all called to do and work at God’s calling for us but Jesus reminds us of the real crux of life. Life is not all about working as we think it is. Life is about working free from the burdens of fear, drudgery, worry and suffering. It is about working with love, trust and peace and the friendly universe will flow to us meeting our needs.
God does provide!

# 15, Real Religious Living

Jesus said in Matthew 22: 37-40, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these commandments hang all the law and prophets.”
These two commandments are the whole essence of life. They explain the only real religious living that honors God, others and all of life. These are beautiful and famous words. But organized religion has often misunderstood, misapplied and misused them. The church has focused on doing these commandments the hard way and missed God’s way which is much easier.
We should have focused on being, instead of struggling so hard trying to keep these commandments. We should have followed Jesus’ law of least effort and learned to naturally live and obey these beautiful and eternal words. But our focus on trying so hard has made these commandments a divisive thing.
By focusing on doing, trying hard, with great effort to keep these commandments, Christians caused a split between the select few who can devote their whole lives to loving God and those who spend a little time each week in loving God in structured worship. The Roman Catholic Church calls those who spend full time trying to love God, “the religious”, and they are in special orders, monasteries, convents and the priesthood. Throughout history for many of these folks, the full time religious approach has not worked very well.
Protestant Christians put their full time “religious” into professional religious or church roles. This too has not and is not working very well for many of them. The mental health of American Protestant ministers is perhaps at an all time low. In fact a Protestant or Evangelical minister who does have a sound psychological healthiness often winds up leaving the professional ministry because he does not fit in with what many of the church people expect him to be. This very false division of labor among Christians is based on the assumption that Jesus was talking about something terribly hard to do, something that takes enormous time and effort. It is an assumption that God is hard to please and is easily displeased. But a God who fluctuates all the time between being pleased and not being pleased is not a god of grace for grace is unconditional love.
Actually, Jesus was teaching wholeness in this passage. When a person gives his mind to loving God, transformation always takes place. For God is our Source. Choosing to love Him makes us aware that our soul is one with Him. In Unity with Him, our very breathing becomes loving him and others as we consciously choose to love. Love does not have to be performed according to our mistaken views of perfectionism. It instead is to be done in an effortless, natural way. This is the meaning of the law of least effort as taught in the sermon on the mount. Love comes naturally when we simply believe in the God who dwells in our souls.
Our children loved art, music and writing. No one had to force them to do art, music or writing. They turned to it naturally whenever they had the time for these were things their inner being found joy in. If children know they are loved they naturally turn to and love their parents and others whom they know love them. This is the way Jesus meant for us to keep the great commandments, joyfully without effort. And it begins when we begin to love our own souls which are already connected to God.

# 14, Believing in the Soul

Once, long, long, ago, a young princess named Sarah demanded that she be allowed to choose her own husband. Finally, her father, the king, allowed her to do so. She fell in love with a low born wood cutter. But his parents were the salt of the earth. And Joseph, the woodcutter was strong, handsome, loving and noble of heart.
When the King saw Joseph’s nobility of character he gave Sarah permission to marry him knowing his daughter would be happy. But, for three nights before the wedding the angel of death appeared to Sarah in a dream saying, “When you have been married exactly a year, your husband will die!”
On their first anniversary after Joseph went into the woods to work, Sarah saw the angel of death sitting in her front yard. She went to him and pleaded for Joseph’s life but the deadly harbinger said, “No! I warned you, and when he comes home from work, I will take him.”
Sarah fled to the wooded hills where a wise seer-sage lived in a cave, Satern the Seer. His knowledge of death and the afterlife was legendary. Exhausted she finally found him and for the rest of the day he took her on a spiritual journey of questions and thought that helped her to see the truth of death and the life after. She found comfort, release from fear and finally, how to triumph over death. Perhaps the greatest truth of several that he taught her was to become aware of the soul.
Life is full of illusion that is a subtle form of magic that hides reality from us. Take a piece of ice, a snowflake and a cloud of steam and upon seeing them you are asked, “Do you see any water?” If you say no. you have been deceived by the illusion. But if you say yes, you have seen through the illusion to the reality that all three in essence are water. Death is the greatest illusion of all that we must see through to the reality of the matter.
“Sarah,” said Satern the Seer, “you knew Joseph would die within a year and yet you married him, why?”
“Because, I truly loved him, I saw his goodness and nobility of soul.”
Satern replied, “You saw his essence, his soul. True love is recognizing someone else’s soul and joining your soul to theirs. The soul is eternal. It is our consciousness and it can never die. It comes from God, is connected to God, and returns to God. To join another in love is communion that can never be lost.”
“ We bury the dead or cremate them and we see it done, so we believe in death. Our eyes never see the soul but our heart, our spirit does. You can stop believing your eyes, death is an illusion. The eternity of the soul is the reality to see. The Apostle in I Corinthians 15 taught that when the physical body dies we are immediately raised a spiritual body.
Our main duty in life is to get to know our own souls and the beauty that can be found in the souls of others. Getting to know our own soul, becoming aware that the Kingdom or Rule and Power of God abides there is called the first resurrection in the book of revelation. Death has no power over those thus enlightened for they have found the God they are connected to, the God within them. Your soul and those souls of all others that you love are eternal. Take care of your own soul and nurture the souls of others. This is the work of Heaven on earth.