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Mysticism
Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.)

  Mysticism
  Spiritual Mysticism
  God-Conscousness

  by John Van Auken

Spiritual breakthrough is about God-consciousness. The goal is to reach a level of consciousness that allows us to be as aware of God as of ourselves. Imagine being as aware of God as we are of ourselves. This is the breakthrough we seek. But it is a difficult goal to realize. One of the greatest seekers of God-consciousness, the late Edgar Cayce teaches: "Remember there is no shortcut to a consciousness of the God-force. It is part of your own consciousness, but it cannot be realized by the simple desire to do so. Too often there is the tendency to want it and expect it without applying spiritual truth through the medium of mental processes. This is the only way to reach the gate. There are no shortcuts in metaphysics. Life is learned within self. You don’t profess it, you learn it" (8092-1).

 
  The Presence
    In Our Father's House
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  Spiritual Mysticism
 

  The Light of an Idea

    Evil & the Devil
 

  Egyptian Gods as Metaphors

    God & the Godlings
 

  Interpretating the Revelation

    
    

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Seekers of God-consciousness may include many more people than we imagine. Edgar Cayce considered people from many different backgrounds as true seekers of God-consciousness. He actually identifies certain biblical names and terms as codes for something much broader than we normally consider. As in the following quote: "This is the meaning, this should be the understanding to all: Those that seek are Israel. ‘Think not to call thyselves the promise in Abraham. Know ye not that the Lord is able to raise up children of Abraham from the very stones?’ So Abraham means call; so Israel means those who seek. How obtained the supplanter [Jacob] the name Israel? He wrestled with the angel, and he was face to face with seeking to know His way. So it is with us that are called and seek His face -- We are Israel!" (#262-28; also, #5377-1)

In order to understand the nature of this breakthrough, we need to be familiar with our god-seeking heritage. Jews, Christians and Moslems all trace their heritage to Abraham and include the biblical stories in their religious literature. Let’s review some great Bible stories and teachings, using Edgar Cayce’s insights to help us gain a deeper understanding of the grand vista of God, man and woman, and God-consciousness.

Two Keys to Understanding Biblical Stories

In order to understand the mystical messages in the Bible, we need to keep two principles in mind as we read it.

First, the Bible is not only a historical record of a specific group of people, but is also an allegory for each individual soul’s journey. It is a vision into the passages that each soul goes through in its quest for full enlightenment and eternal life. Therefore, when we read we should try to receive the stories as though they were personal insights and messages for ourselves, recalling our own past and foreshadowing our future. How can this be our past when we have only lived a short while? Because our souls have been alive from the beginning. As Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:56-58). So too were we alive. In the Cayce discourses we find many supporting examples of this truth. Here are a few examples:

"The entity was in the beginning, when the Sons of God came together to announce to Matter a way being opened for the souls of men, the souls of God’s creation..."(#2156-2).

"In the beginning ... when the morning stars sang together, and the whispering winds brought the news of the coming of man’s indwelling ... and man became the living soul -- the entity came into being with this multitude" (#294-8 (#294 is Edgar himself).

"For in the beginning, God said, ‘Let there be light.’ You are one of those sparks of light, with all the ability of Creation, with all the knowledge of God" (#5367-1).

The Bible stories are our stories. We should read them as personal stories.

Second, the Bible contains not only the records of physical activities, it also contains metaphors of inner-life passages that occur as one awakens to "the Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). When a seemingly outer physical activity is described in a Bible story, let’s consider what it might mean to our inner process of spiritual breakthrough -- as though it were a dream, carrying a message behind the outer story. The physical becomes symbolic of something deeper and, as a dream or parabole, it requires intuitive interpretation.

With these concepts in mind -- namely, that the stories and teachings are personal and about inner-life processes -- let’s review some of the key stories in the Old and New Testaments. This background is important to our fuller understanding of the spiritual breakthrough process.

THE NATURE OF GOD

The Collective

Genesis begins, "In the beginning God ("Elohiym") created the heavens and the earth. The Hebrew word "Elohiym" is a plural noun for "Deity." The use of the plural form reflects the collective, wholistic nature of God. When Elohiym speak, "they" refer to themselves in the plural, such as: "Let us make him in our image, according to our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). Thus, Elohiym is not a singular, supreme entity separate from the creation. God is the Collective, composed of the created ones while at the same time their source. We actually contribute to the composition of God. That is not to say that we compose all of God’s being, but simply to say that a portion of God’s being is us.

This truth is expressed in many of the Cayce readings. In one example, Cayce encourages one seeker to come to know that not only God is God but self is a portion of that Oneness (#900-181).

As Jesus explained to Philip, "He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves" (John 14:8-11). There was simply no way that Jesus could show the Father separate from himself. We and God are one. Again, we are not all of God’s being, but we compose a portion of God and are ourselves composed of God. This is why the author of Genesis had to use the word "Elohiym."

Some modern religious people do not like this concept and criticize as a chief characteristic of the New Age movement. The same criticism was leveled as Jesus during His time. The religious authorities could not accept that any man was so closely connected with God. It simply gave everyone their own direct line to God, requiring little of the authorities. But, as the Lord said in Jeramiah, He does not want anyone between Him and His created, no priest, no teachers. The Lord wants to teach each one of us directly. As Jesus asked, "Why do you get angry with me because I say that I am the son of God? Do not the scriptures say that you are gods?" Which of course psalm 46 does state. We are gods within the great God.

Obviously, we are not fully conscious of this, and through this study we will discover why. Let’s continue with the nature of God and the Beginning.

The Dark and the Light

In ancient teachings, God is composed of two aspects, a passive, impersonal quality and a dynamic, personal quality. The Genesis verse, "darkness was upon the face of the deep,"(Gen. 1:2) refers to the first aspect of God. It is passive, quiet, impersonal, never changing and vast beyond imagining. "The deep" is a beautiful term to use for this aspect of God. Imagine was God’s consciousness is like, and then select words to describe it. I don’t think we could come up with a much better term than "the deep." The Genesis author also associates it with "darkness." But this is not in darkness in the sense of evil, rather in the sense of unknown, unseen, unmanifested.

This line is then followed by, "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters"(Gen. 1:2; but no water had been created yet, so this may be interpreted as the "waters" of the deep, dark, infinite consciousness). The "Spirit of God," especially when it’s moving, refers to a dynamic aspect of God. This is the Creator. It is personal, conscious, present and knowable. It communicates with man throughout the scriptures.

This dynamic aspect of God says, "Let there be light,"(Gen. 1:3, EC #1947-3) a metaphor for consciousness. It is the Logos. And the light, or consciousness, was good, and was separated from the darkness, or unconsciousness. The darkness is subsequently called "Night," symbolizing the deep stillness of the unconscious. The light is called "Day,"(Gen. 1:4-5) symbolizing the seen and the active. Following this pattern, an ancient Hebrew day began at sundown, recalling that darkness was before light, unconsciousness before consciousness, night before day, sleep before wakefulness.

When we are too much in the life of the Day, we are out of balance. Unconsciousness and the stillness of the Night are equally important to our health and well-being. Sleep, rest, the inward nature of prayer and meditation, and our stillness while listening are as important to us as wakefulness, activity and speaking. This is expressed by the Psalmist as, "Day unto day pours forth speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge"(Psa. 19:2). Our going in to our inner consciousness and our coming out to our outer consciousness is the balance of the inner places and unseen forces with the outer places and seen forces. We, as portions of God, are composed of both, and need to have these in balance.

Spirit

It’s important that we understand "spirit" since it is key to our breakthrough. "Ruwach" is the Hebrew word used here. It literally means "wind," as in "the spirit [wind] of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:2 ). Wind is a poetic expression for the unseen force behind a manifested condition. We see the leaves and branches of a tree move and we know the unseen wind is the cause. As Jesus says to Nicodemus, "the wind blows where it will, and you hear the sound of it but do not know from where it comes or to where it goes; so is everyone who is born of the spirit"(John 3:8).

In Jesus’ discussion with the woman at the well, he says "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit...."[John 4:24 (The New Testament was originally written in Greek. The Greek word for spirit is "pneuma," which primarily indicates the wind or air, as does the Hebrew word of the Old Testament, "ruwach.")] The one, great Spirit is composed of our spirits, and true worship, or attunement, is achieved by "moving" into the spirit, as opposed to being predominantly conscious in the body and the mind. The disciple John begins his recording of the Revelation with, "I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day..." (Rev. 1:10). The Cayce discourses also speak to this important principle, "For the image in which man was created is spiritual, as He thy Maker is spiritual."

Throughout the Old Testament, the Spirit of God brings two great gifts: life and wisdom. In Job, Elihu acknowledges that the Spirit has given life to us when he says, "the Spirit of God hath made me" (Job 33:4). God’s Spirit gives life to all, including minerals, plants and animals. Where there is Spirit, there is life.

The Spirit’s wisdom-giving power is expressed again by Elihu when he says to Job, "It is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand" (Job 32:8-9). We also see how the spirit is known to bring wisdom when Pharaoh, after being astonished by Joseph’s wisdom, asks his counsellors, "Can we find such a man as this, in whom is the spirit of God? Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discreet and wise as you are" (Gen. 41:38-39). And in Jesus’ hours before the crucifixion, he teaches that when he departs from the earth, the Holy Spirit will come and "teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance" ( John 14:26, 16:13). Where there is spirit, there is wisdom.

God, therefore, is collective, containing all and within all. It is unconscious and conscious. It is spirit and, as such, gives life and wisdom.

By the way, when I use the neutral pronoun "It" for God, it is because I simply cannot convey the correct impression of God by using either of the other two pronouns in our language, "he" or "she." God contains both the feminine and masculine. God is both Mother and Father. Further, God is not nearly so personal as the he/she pronouns imply. God is not a person, as we would think of a person. Therefore, "It" is, to my mind, the best pronoun. Of course, if I were true to the author of Genesis, I’d use "They," in keeping with the plural noun Elohiym. And though I truly believe "They" is an excellent pronoun for God, it does at times become awkward and tends to cause us to think of God as many, when God is one. "Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is one" (Deut. 6:4). Therefore, "It" will have to do.

OUR NATURE

Spirit and Soul

There is a subtle but significant distinction between spirit and soul. Spirit, as we have just reviewed, is associated with the wind, while soul corresponds to the breath. The spirit, like the wind, is universal and free; whereas the soul, like the breath, is more individual and contained. They are similar, both being air. As the wind moves by one’s nostrils, it can be inhaled and become personal breath. In the first chapter of Genesis, we read that God created adam in Its image (spirit). In chapter two, the "Lord God" (Yewah Elohiym) creates adam again by breathing the breath of life into him/her, and he becomes "a living being [soul]" (Gen. 2:7). Notice how the "spirit [wind] of God" first created us in Its image, and later, we became living souls by the "breath" of the Lord God. Spirit is the wind; soul is the breath. One is more universal, the other is more individual. In the Cayce readings, the spirit is the life force, while the soul is that unique portion of each entity that is the sum total of all the entity has done with its gift of life. Soul is our unique story, our individualness.

Additionally, spirit is considered unchanging, whereas soul is developmental. The soul grows, learns, and becomes the companion to God. The spirit is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It is life -- eternal, unchanging life. Spirit is also considered the source of wisdom. When St. John says he is "in the spirit," he is referring to a process whereby he awakens to and attunes to the more spiritual aspect of his being; then, in turn, attunes that to the essence of all life, the Collective Spirit (Elohiym). Understanding this is helps us breakthrough to the spiritual.

Flesh

As we enter the earth realm, another quality is added to our composition -- flesh. This adds blood to the metaphor of wind and breath. Now blood must permeate the lungs to get life from the breath, soul, which, in turn, gets its life from the wind, spirit.

Flesh (or our identification with it) is that portion of our being that separates us most from God. At one point during the great fall in Genesis, God says, "My spirit will not always be with man, for he is flesh" (Gen. 6:3). God is not flesh. God is spirit. In order to fully know God, one must break through to the spirit. And, when "the great and terrible day of the Lord" comes (Joel 2:31), it is terrible precisely because unspiritualized flesh will have little part in it. Those who have not regained some sense of their spiritual selves will be in anguish over their fleshness. Jesus described it to his disciples as, "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 24:51).

Let’s review the story of creation, our beginnings.

Our Genesis

In the beginning God creates us in Its own image, "Let us make man [adam] in our image, after our likeness.... So God created man [adam] in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."Gen. 1:26-27 In this verse the Hebrew word for man is "adam." This word is often translated as "reddish" or "ruddy," but it also means "persons" or "people" collectively, and can mean an "indefinite someone." It is important to note in this verse that adam is male and female in one, androgynous. It is not until later when the "Lord God" creates adam "out of the dust of the earth," in other words, in the flesh, that these parts are separated. When this occurs, the name "adam" takes on the meaning we most commonly associate with this word, "ruddy" or "red," resulting from the blood in flesh.

It is important to realize that adam was first made in the image of God, which we know is not flesh, but spirit, female and male in oneness, unconscious and conscious united. Then, symbolized by the changing of the name of the creator from "God" to "Lord God" and, subsequently, to simply "Lord," we see the descent from direct God-consciousness to self-consciousness ("God" is the name in Chapter 1 of Genesis, "Lord God" begins in Chapter 2 and carries on until the name is changed to "Lord" in Chapter 4.). This is the descent from pure spirit to spiritualized flesh to disconnected flesh, at which time death takes hold. Understanding this helps us breakthrough to the original consciousness and condition.

Another important point about this creation is that it is a group creation, not just the creation of one famous person. "Adam" at this stage of the creation is referring to an original group of souls created by God in God’s image, and subsequently made in spiritualized flesh by the Lord God, then into mortal flesh by the Lord. According to the Cayce readings, the souls, those godlings within the One God, entered the earth in five places, five nations, five races; in one they were called "Adam," and this is the story of those souls, (#900-227, 364-9 & -13).

At this point in Genesis, God has created everything in thought, in the mind of God, but not physically -- all existed in God’s consciousness. This is symbolized in the passage that comes after the seven days of creation: "Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth [physically], and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God [note the name change] had not sent rain upon the earth; and there was no man [in flesh] to cultivate the ground" (Gen. 2:4-15). Yet, we know the heaven, earth and Adam had been created. The author is trying to convey to us that they had been created only in the mind of God not in form.

The original creation occurred in God’s infinite consciousness. This was our natural home before entering the flesh. It is what is spoken of in Jesus’ prayer to God, "And now, glorify Thou me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was" (John 17:5). And it is that realm spoken of when Jesus says to us, "I go to prepare a place for you ... that where I am there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going" ( John 14:2-4). Now, like many of us who are so much into physical consciousness, the disciple Thomas challenges this statement, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How do we know the way?" But we do know the way. Deep within us is our true nature. Deep within us we remember the original home, and we know the way. Each of us was there in the beginning. Each of us was originally created in the image and likeness of God. Within us that original nature lives and intuitively knows its way home. As Jesus said, "No one ascend to heaven but he who has already descended from it, even the Son of Man."

Female and Male

As we touched on earlier, ancient teachings hold that the One is composed of two aspects: that of the dark -- meaning unseen, deep, and from out of which comes the other aspect, light -- meaning seen, present and active. In the Eastern philosophies the terms "yin" and "yang" are used to express these characteristics. Yin is a feminine principle, yang a masculine one.

If we simply look objectively at the physical bodies of a female and male (the ultimate manifestation of these two aspects), we see the reflection of their innate qualities. A female’s sexual organs are deep within her torso, a male’s outside his. A female body has more inner processes than a male, such as menstrual cycles, conception, gestation, and milk production. The female reflects the characteristics of the inner aspect of God. Thus she is a reflection of the dark, unknown, unseen, unmanifested God, the yin. She represents the unconscious, sleep, and "Night" in Genesis, thus, "the Moon and the Stars." This would also imply that the feminine is the wind, the spirit, especially since she is the conceiver, the "life-giver" (Hebrew: "Chavvah"). On the other side, the male reflects the characteristics of the outer, manifested God. Thus, he is a reflection of the active, changing, personal, present God. He represents the conscious, wakefulness; "Day" in Genesis, thus the Sun. He is the "tiller of the soil," the doer, the conquerer. This would also imply that he is then the reflection of the breath, the soul, especially since he is the changing, developing "doer." Our original nature was composed of both these aspects in one being, but soon these were to be separated.

Separation of the Sexes

Our fall from the original place of being is allegorically presented as the separation of the sexes and the eating of the "Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil," (Gen. 2:17) which symbolizes consuming knowledge without understanding. The Cayce readings state it this way, "...seek not for knowledge alone. For, look -- LOOK -- what it brought Eve. Look rather for that wisdom which was eventually founded in she [Mary] that was addressed as ‘the handmaid of the Lord’..."

Because of our continued pull toward self-consciousness, we lose God-consciousness and descend into the narrow realm of the physical world. In Genesis 2:7, not God, but the "Lord God" creates us again, after the seven days of creation. This time we are created in spiritualized, physical form. "Then the Lord God formed man [adam, still male and female in one] of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [physically]"(Gen. 2:7).

The author of Genesis tells us that now that man became flesh, he/she was so separated from the spiritual realm and God, that he/she was lonely. As the Lord God observes, "It is not good that the man [adam] should be alone; I shall make him a helper fit for him"(Gen. 2:18-20). Lord God brought all the creatures of the earth before Adam, but there was none found companionable with this god-man in flesh. We were truly out of our natural element; as Jesus said, we are "not of this world"(John 15:19). But, having made the descent from heaven, we now had to find a better way to live in the physical realm.

Therefore, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the androgynous man, and while he slept took one of his ribs (The Hebrew word for "rib" could also be translated "side," as in "a side of beef," "a rib of beef." "Side" is the more correct word for this passage.) and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man"(Gen. 2:21-23).

In this deep sleep, the Lord God went into the inner places of the god-man and separated the two parts, bringing out one side of the whole being. These two sides could now be true help-meets one to the other. In Adam’s poetic verse, the word "Man" is no longer "adam" but "ish," meaning male. The word "Woman" is "ishshah," meaning female. They that were one in "adam" are now separated into "ish" and "ishshah," man and woman. The male retained the name "Adam" and the female was called "Chavvah," meaning "life-giver." Eventually, she was named "Eve," meaning "mother of all."

As the great depth psychologist Carl Jung noted, we are only expressions of part of ourselves. If we project the masculine, then the feminine is in the unconscious. If we project the feminine, then the masculine is in the unconscious. To be whole, we must all get in touch with our other portion.

Separation from God

In the beginning, adam represented the spirit-soul entity. This entity was, and remains, that portion of our being that is the companion to God. It is both male and female, and is in the image of God. We were composed of spirit (God), individualness (soul), and free-will (the gift of God). However, as we children of God used free-will to experience the infinite realms of the Cosmos, we became increasingly self-conscious, losing much of our God-consciousness. Eventually, some of us, not all, descended into the earth, the third dimension, and entered flesh. This required that we be made again in the flesh. Thus, we were formed out of the dust of the earth and our twin aspects were divided into yin and yang, male and female. We were naked, but at first our nakedness was not known to us and the Lord God did not call it our attention (Gen. 2:25).

The Fall

The Lord God had commanded adam not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, saying "for in the day you eat from it, you shall surely die"(Gen. 2:17). Up to this point, we were immortal beings, in the image of the immortal God. However, the further we moved from consciousness of our connectedness with the Eternal One, the more we lost connectedness to the source of Life. Adam and Eve began to live too completely in the flesh, losing touch with the life-giving Spirit. They began to reverse the flow of the Life Force, the élan vital, bringing it further into self-consciousness. This became so acute that, according to the Cayce readings, we actually experienced a death of the spirit (#281-33). To put it another way, we died to the spiritual influence.

Another significant piece to this puzzling death was the growth of something other than God.

Self and the Serpent

The serpent in the Garden represents SELF. It is self without regard for the Whole or for other beings. It is the self that seeks self-gratification, self-glorification, self-aggrandizement, self-centeredness. But in order for the potential companions of God to be true companions, they had to have a strong sense of self. As the Cayce readings state it: "That he may know himself to be himself and yet one with the Father [the Creator]"(#815-7). Therefore, despite the dangers inherent in the development of self-consciousness, it was allowed because it was and remains the way to full realization of our role as divine companions. Yet, it often becomes a stumbling block.

The serpent, "more subtle than any other creature the Lord God had made,"(Gen. 3:1) symbolizes two aspects of our being: 1) the life force, the kundalini; and, 2) the self (especially when it is not cooperating with the Whole).

In the Garden, our selfness (the serpent) convinces the two other aspects of our consciousness (Adam and Eve) that they could safely ignore God’s guidance, and would not die, as God had stated. This resulted, though, in a further turning of consciousness and, with it, the life force was moved downward and outward -- symbolized by the serpent’s coming out of the tree and crawling on the ground.

Adam, Eve and the serpent (all aspects of ourselves) fall from grace and lose the comfort of the garden. The Tree of Life, symbolizing immortality, is now protected from us, so we don’t become eternal terrestrial beings when we are meant to be eternal celestial beings. Now we enter the cycle of life and death.

This is further symbolized in Eve’s conception of two beings: Cain and Able. Cain literally means the "acquired" one (our forming egos). Abel means "a breath," or soul -- our spiritually aware selves (Gen. 4). Of course, God favors the offerings of our souls more than our egos, as symbolized in Abel’s offering as opposed to Cain’s. However, Cain (ego) is angered by this and kills Abel (soul). Yet, when the Lord comes to Cain, He says, "Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door [of your consciousness]; its desire is for you, but you must master it"(Gen. 4:6-7).

This is the great call to us. Yes, self-consciousness is dangerous. It may lead to self-centeredness and loss of union with the Whole. But it is such a wonderful gift that it is worth the trials. We simply must, as the Lord God said in the Garden, "Subdue the earth [i.e., our self-centered urges]"(Gen. 1:28). And, as the Lord said to our Cain-self, "You must master it (self will)." By gaining control over this powerful gift, we will come to know ourselves to be ourselves and yet one with the Whole.

Stages for Regaining God-Consciousness

Thus as ye take hold of the thought of God Consciousness, it may be just as pregnant a concept in mind as a baby in our body (2823-1).

In order to identify the stages of resurrection or rebirth in the spirit, let’s enumerate the stages of our fall, and see how they can be turned around to bring resurrection. There are three major changes that brought on our loss of God-consciousness and all three can be turned around to regain it.

1) The death of the influence of the Elohiym Spirit and the rise of self.

2) The reverse of the flow of the Life Force.

3) The witness against us.

Let’s examine these in detail.

1. We died to the spirit and gave birth to the self. The spirit and the universal consciousness of God is the true source and nature of Life, so when we died to it, we lost immortality and wisdom. And, since God is spirit, we also lost consciousness of God. This is symbolized by the name changes for God and by our being denied access to the Tree of Life (Gen. 3:22-24). We became mortal. We also began to develop an even stronger sense of self, to the point that we lost awareness of self’s connectedness to the Whole -- God and other souls. This mounting sense of self separated us from direct contact with God, and is symbolized by our emergence into a single physical body, with singular gender. What was collective and united is now singular and separated. In order to regain God-consciousness, this movement from the spirit to the self must be turned around.

Jesus says to Nicodemus, "Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kindgom of God. ... That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:3,6). In this teaching we are given a great insight. We have been born of flesh and, using the old terms, that makes us "sons and daughters of man." However, we must also be born of the Spirit, making us "sons and daughters of God." During our physical lives, we should strive to experience the second birth, the birth of the spirit. This is spoken of and symbolized many times in both Testaments, beginnning in the Garden itself. (Remember now, we are to consider physical activities as metaphors of what happens within consciousness. All the characters in these stories are also elements of our own soul development.)

At the time of the loss of the Garden, God prophesies that Eve, and all women after her, will give birth only through much effort and pain, but that her line will one day give birth to the savior, to the one who will subdue (or reverse) the serpent’s influence (Gen. 3:15). In our personal experience, that translates to this: our feminine, inner, deeper self -- with all its unseen forces and spiritual powers -- will conceive, gestate and deliver a new consciousness which will raise the serpent up, be "born anew," and regain what was lost. This will be our spiritual selves.

The story of Mary’s conception and delivery of a new child is perhaps the fullest expression of this idea. Let’s review the angel Gabriel’s description of what will happen to her:

"Behold, you will conceive in your womb [the womb of our inner consciousness], and bear a child.... He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give him the throne ... and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and his kingdom will have no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" [From the earthly perspective, as a daughter of man, how can this be done? Almost the same reaction Nicodemus had to Jesus’ teaching about spiritual birth.] And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the son of God"(Luke 1:31-35),

The description of this conception is reminiscent of deep, meditative, mystical experience -- "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you." It also calls to mind other wonderful expressions of this experience:

"And it shall come to pass that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old shall dream dreams, and your young shall see visions" (Joel 2:28).

"...suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind [spirit], and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit..."(Acts 2:2-4).

"How precious is thy steadfast love, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of thy wings. They feast on the abundance of thy inner place, and thou givest them drink from the river of thy delights. For within thee is the fountain of life; in thy light do we see light"(Ps. 36:7-9).

Another important expression of this idea comes as Jesus nears the end of his physical ministry. At the last Passover dinner, Jesus says that his soul has become troubled. Later, as he sought to calm the troubled spirits of his disciples -- they were beginning to realize he would soon be leaving them -- he compared their feelings to those of a woman in labor: She has sorrow because her hour of pain and struggle are upon her, but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for the joy that a child is born. (John 12:27)

So it is with us in our hour of delivery of our spiritual child. Each of us has conceived this spiritual being within our hearts and minds. We have nourished it in the wombs of our consciousnesses. Now it is time for us to deliver it, and the pain and struggle of this is upon us. However, once delivered of it, we will rejoice that a child is born -- not a child of man, but a child of God. Our spirit will be present, and will be able to attune to God directly, which is the purpose of spiritual breakthrough.

In the Revelation we also see a woman in labor, a heavenly woman:

"And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the Sun, with the Moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery"(Rev. 12:1-2).

She, as well as Mary, symbolizes the fulfillment of God’s promise to Eve. Out of her will come the savior, who will overcome selfishness and reunite us with the Whole. Like Mary, she also represents for us the process of spiritual breakthrough:

We have already conceived our redeemer, our messiah, our spiritual being within our hearts and minds -- or we wouldn’t even be studying these things. Now we must fully realize it by giving birth to it, letting it become fully alive and present. This requires that we lay down our outer selves and give birth to our inner selves. We must subjugate the flesh, the earthly portion of our being, to the Higher Forces, and give place or space in our consciousness and life for our reborn spiritual being. As Jesus expresses it, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life"(John 12:24-25).

We must yield to the will of the spirit within us, allowing it to have expression in our lives. If we will seek its way more than our own, eventually it will be fully manifest. We will be, once again, spiritual beings, even while in the physical world. As Jesus states it, "When you have lifted up the son of man, then you will know..."(John 8:28). When we have raised our earthly selves to the level of consciousness of our heavenly selves, then we will know what it’s all about and who we really are.

2. We reversed the flow of the Life Force. Our kundalini energy was used to physically manifest and breed. It flows down our spines and out to the world, mostly in gratification and self-exaltation. This is, literally, the fall of the serpent.

Moses (literally means "drawn out." As the story goes, he was drawn out of the Nile river by Pharaoh's daughter -- symbolizing Pharaoh's developing feminine aspect. Therefore, meaning drawn out of the unconscious by the awakening consciousness) leads the seekers out of material captivity (symbolized by Egypt) and away from the control of Pharaoh (symbolic of the ego self), across the wilderness to the Mount of God, where we reconnect with God and eventually enter the Promised Land. (Ex. 13). One of the great signs that Moses performs, following God’s guidance, is to raise the serpent, and all who look upon it are healed from its bite. (Num. 21:8) While teaching Nicodemus about "heavenly things," Jesus refers to this great sign saying, "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, even the Son of man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes may in him have eternal life."( John 3:13-15). If we interpret this teaching for us as individuals, it shows that through misuse of the life-force (kundalini, serpent power) and self-consciousness (the serpent, dragon, Satan, etc.), we descended from heaven and lost consciousness of our nature as sons and daughters of God, believing ourselves to be no more than sons and daughters of other humans. If we wish to ascend to heaven and regain our heritage as children of God, then we must raise the life-force (raise the serpent) and raise the consciousness of our physical selves (raise the son of man) so that we may once again have the glory that was ours before the world was, and live eternally with God.

3. We are a witness against ourselves. Our conscience knows what we have done. The resulting guilt, self-condemation, and self-doubt holds us from fully entering into God’s all-knowing presence. This is expressed in the story of Job. Let’s take a moment to review key parts of this story.

The story of Job begins, "Now there was a day when the sons [and daughters] of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them."(Job 1:6) As a result of our movement into selfness and the flesh, we are not able to come into the presence of God, even though we are "the sons [and daugthers] of God." We therefore present ourselves to "the Lord" (the Hebrew is "Yahweh"). Even then, because of our changes, when we come before the Lord, we bring Satan with us. Satan here symbolizes our growing self-centered nature, in opposition to God and the Collective. Literally, the name Satan means "the accuser." The Lord asks Satan, our selfness, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?"(Job 1:8) Our selfness then witnesses against the goodness symbolized in Job, saying that if the Lord puts forth His hand and touches anything of Job’s possessions or Job’s flesh, he will curse the Lord to His face. Is Job righteous because his physical life is comfortable, or is he righteous because he loves God, loves the spirit, more than the temporary pleasures of the physical, self-centered life? The Lord tells Satan to test him. Satan tries Job terribly, but Job does not curse the Lord for his physical pain and loss. Job’s friends also accuse him of sin, since otherwise these bad things would not have come upon him and his family. But Job searches his heart and finds no evil in himself. Then, Job crys to the Lord and the Lord comes to him. They engage in a dynamic conversation, coming to know one another directly. All that Job lost is restored a hundredfold. But, better than that, Job has come to know the Lord directly, and the Lord has come to know Job.

Satan, our self-centered selves, is a witness against us. When we come before the Lord, the all-knowing consciousness, we bring this accuser with us.

Another example of this is found in the Old Testament Book of Zechariah, when Joshua is presented to the Lord. "... Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?’ Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments, and the angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ And to him he said, ‘Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with festal robes.’"(Zech. 3:1-4) Later, the Lord says, "I will remove the guilt of this land in a single day."(Zech. 3:9) And a little later, the Lord says this is accomplished "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit."(Zech. 4:6) The garments of our consciousness are soiled from our self-centered activities and thoughts, but the spirit can and will cleanse them in a moment, and rebuke the accuser in our minds.

Perhaps the clearest example of the need to rid our consciousness of the accuser is found in the Revelation. The Revelation is more than a book of prophecy; it is an insight into the very nature of our inner passage into full God-consciousness. As the Cayce readings put it: "The Revelation ... is a description of ... thy own consciousness...."(#1473-1) "Why, then, is it presented, ye ask, in the form of symbols? These are for those that were, or will be, or may become, through the seeking, those initiated into an understanding of the glories that may be theirs if they will but put into work, into activity, that they know in the present. ... These [the symbols] represent self; self’s body-physical, self’s body-mental, self’s body-spiritual...."(#281-16)

Earlier in this study, a scene from the Revelation was described in which the divine pregnant woman is striving to be delivered of her heavenly baby. Swirling about her is a red dragon.(Rev. 12:3-4) This dragon is the full grown serpent of the Garden, Satan, the accuser (Rev. 20:2, "...the dragon, the serpent of old, which is the devil and Satan."). It is the self-seeking aspect of our being. It is ready to devour our new consciousness in a belly of self-doubt and self-condemnation. But the archangel Michael, the Lord and Protector of the Way (also an aspect of our being), fights with this dragon and drives it out of heaven, out of our higher consciousness. Then, a loud voice from heaven (our higher consciousness) cries out,

"Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"(Rev. 12:10-12)

We must drive out of our minds this accuser, this self-doubt, this self-condemning influence, if we are to fully regain God-consciousness. Our consciousness will rejoice when it is done, for now our divine feminine can safely deliver our spiritual nature.

Jesus and God-Consciousness

The life of Jesus connects deeply with these stages in the regaining of God-consciousness, and it wouldn’t be going too far to say that he initiated them.

Perhaps the main contribution of his life was to serve as the pattern for being connected with God-consciousness. Having lost that connection ourselves, we were very weak in the area of spirit, but growing strong in the areas of the physical and the mental. We needed help regaining the spiritual influences and consciousness. Cayce puts it this way:

"One finds self a body, a mind, a soul; each with its own attributes and its activity in the earth. An entity, then, is a pattern of that which is also a spiritual fact; Father, Son, Holy Spirit. These are one, just as an individual entity is one. An entity, then, is the pattern of divinity in materiality, or in the earth. As man found himself out of touch with that complete consciousness of the oneness of God, it became necessary that the will of God, the Father, be made manifested, that a pattern be introduced into man’s consciousness. Thus the son of man came into the earth..."(#3357-2)

Jesus taught us much about the way of spirit in responding to others and to situations that arise. In relation to casting out the witness against us, he showed us that to be free of that influence, we need only cease doing any accusing ourselves. Coming into a society that held only negative feelings towards lepers, prostitutes, foreign soldiers, and tax-collectors, he accepted and loved them all. He showed us that the way of spirit lies not in trying to eliminate in ourselves (and others!) whatever the accuser might point to. Instead, he taught us to love one another and ourselves and to subdue the accuser’s voice of condeming judgment.

Even at the end of his life, Jesus was teaching us about strengthening our connection with spirit. The crucifixion is symbolic of much more than restitution for sin. In its deepest meaning it is the way to resurrection. Let’s take a closer look at the significant activities and discussions leading up to and following the crucifixion.

It begins at the Last Supper. That Passover night and meal has its origins in ancient Egypt on the night the Angel of Death came upon all incarnate beings in Egypt, exempting only those who had the blood of the lamb upon the doorpost of their house (Ex. 12:12-13 -- symbolic of the doorpost of their consciousness). This freed the seekers from bondage to the ruler of Earth, allowing them to go to the Mount of God and the Promised Land.

So, now, Jesus and his disciples relive this moment, breaking bread and sharing wine together -- symbols of breaking flesh and shedding blood. As the evening unfolds, Jesus becomes troubled. He says, "And now my soul is troubled because my hour has come upon me. And what should I do? Call to my Father in heaven and ask Him to deliver me from this hour? No, for this hour have I come."(John 12:27-28) Yet, a few hours later in the garden he is troubled again, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death... Abba (literally, "Papa"), Father, all things are possible to Thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt."(Mark 14:34-36) This is the outer man wrestling with the great transition from self-determined, physical man to God-centered, spiritual man. The physical, outer, earthy self does not inherit the kingdom of heaven.(1 Cor. 15:50) The spiritual, inner, heavenly self inherits the kingdom. Thus, the deep meaning behind the ancient Hebrew concept of the blood-sacrifice relates directly to the subjugation of flesh to the spirit. Breaking through the flesh encasement (shedding the blood) yields the spirit and gives it its rightful place as the dominant, true self. As the process is completed, the physical self cries, "Why hast thou foresaken me?"(Matt. 27:46) But the intuitive soul says, "Into thy hands I commend my spirit,"(Luke 23:46) and gives up the flesh life for the spirit life. Now we enter into the tomb, the cave, the coffin -- death, sleep and the dark unconscious. Then, by the unseen powers of the Spirit, we rise again, reborn. Only now we are predominantly spiritual beings manifesting physically, rather than physical beings with spiritual attributes.

As Job was restored a hundredfold, as Jesus came again to eat fish and honey with his disciples on the beach after his resurrection, and all that was lost in the Genesis Garden was regained in the "new heaven and new earth"(Rev. 21:1) of the Revelation. So will we be restored. The Tree of Life, the Water of Life, and the new dwelling will be given to us to "take freely."(Rev. 22:1-5 and 22:17)

In the ancient Egyptian temple of the Great Pyramid, the coffin in the upper chamber is empty. When the women came to anoint Jesus’ body, they found that the tomb held no decaying body. All initiates of the ancient mystery schools were taught there is no death. That is, there is no death when the spirit is present and predominant.

When we lay aside our personal, earthly, physical interests -- even though we feel "forsaken" -- and commend ourselves into God’s hands (the Spirit’s life-giving and wisdom-giving power), we rise up again, a new person, one with God, God-conscious again -- fully integrating body, mind, soul and spirit and attuning them to the Great Spirit, the Elohiym, God. Now what was separated is rejoined. What was lost is found. What was dead, lives. This is spiritual breakthrough.

"Dost thou seek to enter into the glories of the Father? Whosoever will may come, may take of the water of life freely -- even as flows from the throne of the Lamb. ...If ye will accept, the blood cleanses from all unrighteousness. Saves self from what? To what are ye called? To know that only from the falling away of self may ye be saved -- unto the glorifying of self in Him may ye be saved. Then, whosoever will, come!"(#281-16)

-END



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