To be renewed is not simply a washing away of sins, indeed, they remain in our memory, we just now know that we are forgiven for them because of our new potential to do greater good, perhaps even because of them. To be renewed by presence, rather, is to experience life – God, the universe, and man – in a wholly new and radical way, a way one could only imagine and imitate before. It is, in effect, to be graced with new eyes, a new heart, and a new mind or spirit. And thus it is not only a new way of experiencing, but more importantly, a new way of living life. When we perceive in a new way we must act in a new way. All you have to do is stop being what you’re not and start being what you truly are. You must chip away at the cold frozen statue you’ve allowed yourself to become.
The indwelling of God and Spirit is said by Christ to “replace” the need for a temple, with the effect that worship is no longer centered at specific locations (See Jn. 2:13-22 and 4:21). The new church is to be built of “living stones,” meaning the hearts of all people. Further, all these people who make up the temple can be said to be the inhabitants of the new Jerusalem, Jerusalem of course meaning the City of New Peace, and thus these people must live in the name of peace, letting it come down from Heaven one stone at a time. But the symbolic Jerusalem, just like the real Jerusalem, is in or because of “Israel,” meaning one who has wrestled with God.
God in the physical world is not living. God within us is the living God himself. It is there, within more than without, that we are to look for signs and love and guidance, especially so when we are forged in a bond of sympathy with others. Loved ones can help us more than we can help ourselves, for unless one is already highly realized, and perhaps even more so if highly realized, they know us better than we know ourselves.
We know that God does not act in the world, but few understand that this is why and how he inspires us to act for the benefit of others, the very thing that in turn heals us. This is where metaphysics becomes ethics. Here we see that this isn’t about a random and imposed law from without, rather it’s about the inner being, the heart, of each and all of us. This is perhaps the greatest meaning of Paul when he says that “men are without excuse.” Further, this is the fulfillment of God saying he is going to write his name on our hearts, i.e. his presence. The way you act towards and treat other people is the very same way that they will act towards and treat you, if not now then in time.
To speak more of oneself, one of the very first things we must know is what God we are seeking the presence of. We need the presence of God, not the pretense of a God who never existed, who could not and cannot exist by very definition. To know God we must know that he “is one.” And to know that one must love him with all one’s heart, soul, strength, and mind. And we thus expect God to do the same for us.
The truth of the matter is that God is not forgiving, but rather that in him there is not a speck of unforgiveness. It is his very being to be love and compassion. Thus to commit a sin or do harm is not against God or another, for once one realizes the truth of things then the sin is against one’s own heart, and the harm against one’s feeling of God in themselves. This can be more pain than any punishment, but it is not from God, it is inflicted on oneself and only grows worse the longer the pain goes unhealed through repentance and forgiving oneself. And what that entails is also up to oneself, but one must atone. That means beginning by understanding with your heart and mind the fullness of what you’ve done, meaning one must seek the divine knowledge and love I have written about, that you must find the proper context. When you have accomplished that much, you will be without excuse to forgive yourself, and you will be renewed in both heart and mind. But don’t think this is just a decision you can make, for then you will be judged. Only “the truth will set you free.”
Further, the Great Law of Christ, that is, the two commandments, are to love God and love your neighbor. Christ says that this is the sum of all the Law and the teachings of the prophets, and thus this is all one need to know, but you must get there through knowledge in order to know how to put it into practice, as I have said throughout. If you have not realized it as a living truth within, as presence, then you will have no knowledge about what to do with it, and it is only another law imposed from without. Enlightenment and being forgiven is not enough, you must be able to help others with the same, as well as knowing how to act generally, and genuinely. This is the one meaning, the personal meaning, of Christ saying that people will perform greater miracles than he did.
Thus we see that these are not mere laws, the Great Law is the union of the paths of love and knowledge. They are the pinnacle of what man knows and can be. Not to follow them is, in no uncertain terms, to have failed, or worse, to not even try. And that is the greatest of sins. This is the sin against God’s spirit, that is, against his very presence, within and without. To see suffering in the lives and faces of others and do nothing about it is to fail at being human. Now obviously I am not saying we are required to help everybody, but if everybody, every one of us, helps just one other person or the environment in some way, then the circle will be complete, our lives successful, and the love of God, the universe, and man fulfilled. What we are looking for is ease of being, and this is the proper way to go about that quest. If ever we are to be successful in society, it can only be through this Great Law. That’s what Christ meant when he said we must go through him. Only love and knowledge will be upheld. The practice of this love and knowledge is called wisdom. This is the wisdom by which all things are set in place, and in this way we should understand them. However, this is not to say that there is only a moral or ethical level to things, or rather, not everything comes down to a moralization. It is much, much more than that.
God is not a dead law, and he loves you and knows that you are more important than any dead law, but you must earn your escape from such self-judgment. And while I have told you as much as I now can, I have written in a way that hopefully involves your being. Though I cannot tell you everything, I have pointed the way for you to be able to feel, intuit, and figure these things out for yourself, including of course all the help that we receive from within and without. And when you cannot figure them out for yourself then I ask you to turn to the masters and Christ, who knew far more than I. When you have done that you shall find your grace, your ease of being. Indeed, each piece should be learned through grace, for only by such will you be able to turn it back out and allow it to help others. To receive it and then allow it to help others is to remain in presence gracefully. Presence will do all things for you and thus for others. Presence keeps you in the state of mind – though it is not only a state of mind – that will allow you to remain centered and connected to the love and wisdom that are necessary to be successful in this enterprise and adventure of life. In short, all this means is that you must live authentically; be who and what you truly are, nothing more nor less.
This has been my opinion, what’s yours? Agree with me, disagree with me: let me hear it. Things need to change; this is your chance to tell the universe how. And don’t forget to “subscribe” to be reminded every time I post a new article.