exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
Editor's 1-Minute Essay
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“…no planet, sun, or star could hold you if you but knew what you are.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Messier 13 (M13), or NGC 6205, is a globular cluster of about 300,000 stars in the constellation of Hercules. (Wikipedia) But this small bejeweled array hardly registers against the universe’s unfathomable 200 billion galaxies each with 100 billion stars; plus billions of dwarf-galaxies each with a few billion stars. And the question for us becomes: What undiscovered treasures, what advanced civilizations, what knowledge and marvel, await us out there? The future is a long time, our capacity for enriching our spirits is unlimited, and every day we shall thrill to some new insight revealing the hidden nature of reality. Best of all, we shall have left far behind the madness and incivility we knew on planet Earth.
no discoverable upper limit of human potential
Reminding us of our vast human potential is a favorite theme of Word Gems. I think Father Benson's comment about "no discoverable upper limit" might be my favorite assertion in this regard.
Few concepts dazzle me as that which lies ahead for us and what we might become. On the homepage, under the heading, "I've Become The Prairie," I shared these thoughts:
This magical panorama of endless horizon - unbounded, untrammeled, unfettered - symbolizes, for me, a sacred autonomy, an invitation to full humanity, an inexhaustible human capacity - vast, wide open, without discernible limit - the wondrous destiny of every creature "made in the image."
emphasizing the coming marvel
Some things on this page I've discussed elsewhere. But they're so important that a little repetition is warranted. I decided to create this essay in order to highlight the subject of human potential, to draw special attention to it.
So much could be said; over time, I hope to add other items to this writing; however, for the moment, I will center upon a particular facet of human evolvement.
From my friend James Webster, I ordered a complete set, 43 CDs, of the recorded testimonies of the 3500 year-old afterlife entity by the name of "Abu" (meaning "teacher"). In CD #6, Abu speaks of our expanded powers of mind when we cross over, which I would like to discuss.
Let's say that you were always interested in music during your time on Earth but did not have the opportunity to pursue this avocation. In Summerland you will have that opportunity. Rather quickly, with greater mental abilities, you will be able to learn how to play any musical instrument.
But now the question becomes, just how far might one take this interest in music? Could you perform for others over there, even, as a member of an orchestra? The answer is yes, as concerts are a common part of Summerland society, and you will be able to participate as you like. Father Benson in his afterlife testimonies says much about the study of music in the astral realms. Lots of people want to do that over there; and they do.
All this is well and good, but let's say you want to pursue music on a level more than just a hobby. What if you really wanted to get into it and, if it were possible, become a very accomplished musician and song-writer. Could you do that?
Abu remarked that this is possible. Alright then, but what if one were extremely compelled to excel in music - would it be possible to match the abilities of a Mozart or a Beethoven?
Without hesitation, and with force in his voice, Abu asserted that anyone, any human being, has the potential to become as great or greater than any artist in music who has ever lived!
Editor's note: One of my treasured books in the area of early childhood development is Dr. Benjamin Bloom's "All Our Children Learning." Dr. Bloom's research led him to conclude that any normal, healthy child can earn A's in any subject if the child is offered the right guidance to surmount pockets of confusion which inevitably arise.
It's a principle true in this world and in the next. Over there we will have access to highly competent teaching-masters, ready to lead us, or point the way, to any level of competence of our choosing.
But at this point, Abu offered a word of caution lest we think these wonders "grow on trees" and are "free for the picking" without price.
How does it work? There is, indeed, a price to be paid. What is that price? Abu said that if you in Summerland are willing to spend a great deal of time learning your craft, the equivalent of an Earth-lifetime, or maybe two lifetimes, a day will come when you will reach the highest heights of development in your field of enquiry.
The question was then asked of Abu regarding how likely this might be. He said it will happen if one's natural desires, natural interests, come to fore, propelling one to spend large quantities of time perfecting a particular skill. The raw potential is always there, in every human being, but we will tend to develop ourselves according to innate desires and interests. This, of course, is what people do even in our world.
Think about the huge implications. This means that in the short space of 100 or 200 years -- and it would be "short" if you're enjoying yourself -- you might become as proficient, in any subject of your choosing, as anyone in history! This is a powerful concept with the only limiting factor that of one's own resolve to develop one's talents.
in the spirit world, the truth ‘is the only important thing, and the search after it is the principle and most fascinating occupation’
In his investigations of famous psychic-mediums, Michael Tymn reports that other-side entities were asked the question, why do spirit-persons sometimes produce “carnival” effects such as lights, object levitation, rappings and the like. The answer was given that “these are the means best adapted to reach the materialist,” but such sensationalism was grudgingly allowed and not of primary interest to those in the astral realms.
Rather, it is the intent of spirit persons “to convince the world of the existence of the invisible universe, in which and by which alone all things subsist… To the spirit world, Truth is an actual entity, and it is the only important thing, and the search after it is the principle and most fascinating occupation of spirits. Truth is not measured, as to its value, by the same criteria as men measure it; that is, not by money utility, but by its ability to make spirits and men more happy by adding to their means of enjoyment.”
It should be noted that the next dimensions are inhabited by people of all sorts of mental disposition, not all of which is noble or commendable. The desire to make known the higher elements of the spirit world would be shared only by more advanced persons. Nevertheless, in the above quotation we see what the healthy mind inclines toward.
Father Benson informs us that many in Summerland study music and chemistry for the particular enjoyment that these might provide; however, he went on to say that music and chemistry are also chosen as favorites in that they provide special insight into the nature of things, that is, the Truth.
I believe in redemption.
Not the fabled religious sort, but of a personal nature - of second chances, of recaptured opportunity, of finally doing what one's cloaked heart-of-hearts always wanted.
Redemption, to “redeem,” literally means “to buy back,” in the sense of regaining possession. We lost so much in this world. We were like children at a poker table, no match for the steel-eyed card-sharks; we traded our chips for beads and trinkets, squandered youth, opportunity, and substance on flim-flam, the cravings and illusions of the ego.
In my old age, as I “see more clearly,” the subject of human potential draws me like a comforting friend. All is not lost after all. A new world is coming wherein each of us might reclaim what we “ought” to have done but lacked the enabling level of consciousness.
How exciting. Think of study projects abandoned, the career paths never taken; consider the lost love, that true relationship, left behind, traded for baubles and colored sand. Bring to mind that which stirred, unrequited, in one's soul, the goals left on the drawing table, the unfinished and ne’er begun works of art, the heart-desires sold for a bowl of pottage.
However... I believe in redemption. I believe we will buy back the time. Reclaim it, begin again, start anew. Actually, not so much as a “second chance” but as our “first chance,” now, with eyes wide open, in a world designed to recover, as lost inheritance and birthright, all that our deepest persons secretly yearned for.
All this, the great flowering of human potential, awaits us in our true home-world, Summerland.
What would you like to do?
Talk about "kid in a candy-shop"! What would you like to excel at? What do you really want to know and understand? Your decision to act and to commit is the sole operative element here. Father Benson tells us that we will have personal mentors, masters in their fields of expertise, to guide us toward any goal of development. Remember too, there is no spirit of competition, no theatrics of "look how great I am," no shallow and diseased "celebrity culture" in Summerland -- the dysfunctional ego does not run that world. Gone are the "games that people play"; everyone you meet is willing to help anyone to achieve and succeed (or they wouldn't yet be allowed to live there). This does begin to sound like heaven, doesn't it? Imagine the close sense of community with such spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.
The possibilities are endless. And you don't have to stop at one subject of study. Take as many as you like. In fact, working on a few or several at the same time over 100 years would bring its own "spice of life" in terms of variety. Also, good to know, you won't have to eat or sleep over there, no cleaning or shopping, no earning money, so think of all that extra time you will have -- plenty of time to "become a Ninja" in 5 or 10 subjects in 200 years. But who's counting when you're having fun.
the last shall be first
Many years ago I was listening to some taped lectures on the subject of time-management ("Time Power" by Charles Hobbs). I still recall a story that was offered, and I’d like to share it with you
In England, about two or three hundred years ago, there lived a scullery maid, a common servant, who worked and lived in a lord’s mansion. One day, as she was scrubbing the stone floor-tiles in the kitchen, she noticed an ant. Nothing unusual about this, but, on that day, her mind suddenly became fascinated with this little creature. What was it doing? Where did it live? How did it spend its life? Did it have a family? These questions invaded the solitude of her life.
Her eye followed the ant’s trajectory as it escaped into a hidden world behind one of the floor-tiles. Intrigued, she could not help herself but to pry loose the tile in order to observe a tiny network of ant-pathways.
This scullery maid had not been an intellectual person. To this point in her life, she had contented herself with the ordinary detritus of unsensational and illiberal existence. But she had one thing going for her: she possessed a soul “made in the image,” one with infinite riches within; and despite a thousand lackluster previous days, this would be the day when she came alive to a small patch of the universe around her.
She wanted to know about ants. How to begin such a search? In her day, there were no public libraries. Books were very expensive. However, she learned of a lecture to be delivered by a noted British entomologist, and, on her night off, she made her way into London to attend. Utterly enthralled by new knowledge gained from the speaker, she would now devote her free time, little as it was, to gathering more information, though hard to secure, about ants.
the secret life of ants
As her knowledge grew, she corresponded with noted naturalists the world over and discussed with them the secret life of ants. Over long years, she labored alone, quietly and sedulously, building her knowledge, fact by fact, concerning a subject which had captured her imagination.
One morning, however, a morning not so different from other mornings, she perceived her life-situation to be different; she awakened to realize that she, herself, lo and behold, was now a world authority on ants. And, as I recall, she would now be the one writing books and giving lectures at the Royal Albert Hall, or its equivalent of that day.
And the point for us is this: What are you interested in? – no, not the kind of passing interest like tonight’s tv movie, but – what burning question, the kind that won’t let you rest, has God dropped into your head that you must now devote your life to finding the answer?
the secret life of you
When you are blessed with such vision, then, not only will you blossom and grow as a person but, you will distinguish yourself - whether in this world or the next. As Prof. Myers said, you will be "undisguised," a radiance, an embodiment of "energy and force."
And it doesn’t matter if you hadn’t been able to attend an ivy-league college; and maybe you were a scullery maid or grew up working in a cornfield while others played, but none of this matters - for, if you stay with your subject, amassing knowledge, day by day, over the coming many years, a time will come when no one will be able to gainsay your hard won intellectual capital.
And it shall be just as Jesus said: “… the last shall be first.”
Editor’s note: Reading between the lines, we sense a raw nerve touched with Jesus’ assertion. He knew all about being "last." He was the one about whom the Jerusalem Big-Religion elites derided, “Can any good thing come from Galilee?” – that social backwater, that intellectual hinterland, that unprestigious zipcode from the wrong side of the tracks. Nothing up there but construction laborers and scullery maids. A final point on this anti-elitism: One of the most influential authors of my life, his book replete with devastating, penetrating insights into human nature in its unenlightened, cultish state, is Eric Hoffer and his seminal work "The True Believer." Eric was no lauded university professor but one of the deplorable "last" - just a dock-worker, just one of the guys, whose perspicacity sets the world on fire.
For myself, I look forward to studying mathematics, chemistry, and physics; music composition, instrumentation, and song-writing; painting; philosophy.
Editor's note: For some years I’ve wanted to study painting. I envision what I call a “great ideas gallery,” a series of symbolical representations of the great ideas of history. This project awaits opportunity in Summerland.
You will have your own subjects, meaningful to you. And won't it be grand?
Editor's note: I've chosen these subjects because I'm keenly interested in them; however, Father Benson informs us that topics such as chemistry and music are often studied on the other side as aids to understanding the nature of life and reality, and this is what I'm most interested in.
There's too much to say concerning this marvel to come. But allow me to re-post from the Eckhart Tolle page, a subsuming principle crucial to our evolvement, suggesting that personal growth must be founded upon and initiated from one's deepest person:
afterlife-entities and other teachers advise that we must go within to find the hidden "true self," which discovery is absolutely vital to one's development
Silver Birch: "The whole purpose of earthly life is to awaken the dormant slumbering souls to the reality of their existence. Your world is full of living sleepwalkers who go through the day’s activities in a dream."
Dr. Peebles, speaking via Mrs.Wickland: "Let us develop the truth within us - find ourselves. Do not let us look far away; do not let us look in the past, do not let us look into the future, but let us find ourselves in our present condition and let us be true to ourselves. Let us forget all theories and dogmas. Let us know and feel the nearness of God… Let us learn to find ourselves. While I am sorry to say many have not found themselves, let all of us here acquire knowledge so that when we go to the spirit side of life we shall go on to a higher life."
Cora Richmond: “We can only say, study your souls as you do your bodies, pursue the science as you do any other. Make the lamp of the human spirit the subject of your inquiries and investigations, and, like the happy astronomer who triumphed in the exercise of mathematical faith, you too shall triumph in the certainty of spiritual knowledge.”
White Feather: Coming to see the evidence for the afterlife is just the first step. "Once you have acquired proof that life is continuous and death is only a doorway through which all must pass, do not rest on your laurels. Expand your search beyond seeking evidence and discover for yourself the eternal truth and wisdom that awaits you. Be not content with mere snippets of fact, but find [within] also the joy of knowing your own unique purpose and place in the great scheme of life that is forever unfolding."
Frederic W. H. Myers, in the afterlife, transmitted to Juliet S. Goodenow: "You should cultivate your impressions, your intuitions - trust them as your guide where you travel and discover by sense. This faculty is easy of cultivation, when the student applies himself to the task. The cultivation of the spiritual will be slow as learning a foreign language; the material must be held in abeyance, or the dross of matter will obscure the transcendent realities awaiting discovery... Nations that overdevelop materialistic ideas lose the necessary spiritual balance to retain sufficient equilibrium. I deviate somewhat from my subject, to prove the essential things we should endeavor to obtain - knowledge throws upon experience a searchlight. We have learned that within is the universal way leading to this Wisdom... [Man] is himself the sovereign of his destiny, the master of his fate. Created in the Image of God, he is the Son of the Most High. Lighted by the lamp of conscience, he builds an empire within himself; his lordly possessions reach within to Infinitude... Why has man proceeded so far on his way without recognition of his destiny, his inheritance with the eternal nature of things? His vista of mind has encircled the globe; he reaches out and girdles the earth with the strength of his thought... You have the ability to think the thoughts of God, after Him, in conformance to this law - your mind is therefore the mind of a god, analytical - powerful."
Eliza Duffy, Heaven Revised: “I, who prided myself upon being a close and correct observer, a careful analyzer of all that came under my observation, and a deep and original thinker, have been overwhelmed with astonishment, not to say chagrin, in discovering how little I knew of even the surface life around me; how still less of that deeper and inner life which is the real and actuating power of humanity, but of whose existence there is so little realization until it comes to the surface here…Truly, yes, without disguises or concealments; and we shall learn to know ourselves as well. This self-knowledge is not acquired at once. I realize that it is only beginning with me; for when I have come to a thorough knowledge of self, I shall have acquired a knowledge of all things, even of God."
George W. Meek, The Certainty Of Living Forever: George Meek, engineer and inventor, spent his retirement years traveling the world, gathering scientific evidence for the afterlife. (See the video on his life's work.) Using electronic equipment, he successfully communicated with his departed wife, Jeanette, and others in Summerland. (See Mark Macy’s report on George’s accomplishments here.) Aided by the advice of Jeanette on the astral plane, George created a stair-step diagram summarizing things to know for a harmonious transition to the other side. On the first “step,” the most important item, George wrote: “Seek first the Consciousness of God.” Then, on the second “step,” “Learn to know and to love your real self.” Only farther along on the roster does “Service to Others” make an appearance. All this is exactly right. So many want to put charitable works at the head of the list, but this is wrong. Unless altruistic deed is founded upon one’s “true self” linked to God, no lasting good will come from service efforts. See further discussion in my three articles on “Spirituality: How To Become A Good Person.”
Lord Dowding, Lynchgate: “Have faith in your innermost convictions: accept the words of no man: let your heart be your guide in truth and sincerity. Seek to understand in humility: offer your [altruistic] services.”
Dr. Kurt Gödel: considered as great a thinker as Aristotle, Einstein, and Newton: “I don't believe in empirical science. I only believe in a priori truth.” “I am convinced of the afterlife, independent of theology. If the world is rationally constructed, there must be an afterlife.”
Know Thyself, from ancient temples in Luxor and Delphi: The ancient Greek aphorism "know thyself" or "gnothi seauton" is one of the Delphic maxims, inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, according to the Greek writer Pausanias. The phrase was later expounded upon by the philosopher Socrates who taught: "The unexamined life is not worth living." The aphorism may have [originally] come from … the ancient Luxor Temple [in Egypt], comprised of the External Temple, where the beginners would enter, and the Internal Temple, where a person was allowed to enter only after proven worthy and ready to acquire more knowledge and insights. One of the proverbs of the External Temple is "The body is the house of God." That is why it is said: "Man, know thyself". In the Internal Temple, one of the many proverbs is "Man, know thyself, and you are going to know the gods". (Wikipedia)
Editor's note: In I Cor. 6 the apostle Paul draws distinction between "sins that are without the body" (that is, relatively unharmful) versus those that are "against the body," the result of sexual liaison with a non-Twin Soul partner. Paul's phrase, "the body is the temple of the holy spirit," precisely reflects the sense offered in the Luxor-Temple teachings, "the body is the house of God."
(See an expanded discussion of Paul's I Cor. 6 Twin-Soul teaching in "The Wedding Song"; also note that ancient Spirit Guides, communicating to William Stainton Moses ["Spirit Teachings," 1883], refer to marriage as "the holiest and divinest law of life" but, nevertheless, condemn its current degradation as a "buying and selling," a "social slavery," a "deterioration and retrogression," because humankind has not learned that "the body is the avenue of the spirit.")
It is more than passing coincidence that Genesis metaphorically speaks of sexual coitus as a "knowing," a self-knowing, but such lofty perspective is available only to divinely-appointed Twins, not to John and Mary: to employ Luxor's words, they shall not "know the gods." Similarly, in this we find the heart of Paul's argument: a failure to "know thyself," the sacred deeper-self, makes it impossible to enter into authentic spirituality as one's link to God is facilitated only by way of the inner-person, the locus of consciousness.
David Hume, the great philosopher: He "puts man in the middle"; he analyzed himself, watched himself watching, which became for him a self-knowing. This introspection allowed him to overturn certain errant ideas, going all the way back to Aristotle.
Dr. Eben Alexander: The brain is a filter, a reducer, and dumbs down consciousness to a very slim trickle of information; the answers are within us all, but it's by going deeply within consciousness that we might know this
Judge John Edmonds: An afterlife-researcher, Edmonds offers advice given to him from the other side: "No one can begin to progress until he (or she) has correct ideas of the future existence, [along with] knowing our spiritual nature and destiny..."
Kahlil Gibran: “My soul is my friend who consoles me in misery and distress in life. He who does not befriend his soul is an enemy of humanity, and he who does not find human guidance within himself will perish desperately. Life emerges from within, and derives not from environs… If they place me in vacuum, I will live together with my soul, the child of Love and Beauty…”
Raymond Lodge: fallen soldier of WWI, son of knighted British scientist, Sir Oliver Lodge. He transmitted messages, over a period of years, to his parents via psychic-mediums. On the other side, a sensitive, Freda, helped Raymond to communicate with his parents on the Earth, relaying this:
“If only people would go within themselves more, just now and then, they could reach out and get a good deal of what he [Raymond] has learnt [in Summerland]. But when they want to do things on the Earth-plane, they don’t wish to go within themselves, because they are afraid of reaching a decision against what they [that is, their lower natures] wish to do. That is the reason people can’t choose between right and wrong.” Raymond asserted, regarding the efficacy of “going within,” that this process “made everything on the Earth-plane, about religion, about right and wrong, clear - made it all so clear! [Raymond] often thinks that if he could come back [as a mortal], he could fly through life!” [with the success offered by accessing one’s inner person]
Editor's note: compare Raymond's observation concerning people's fear of going within to the following comment by Eckhart Tolle, The New Earth: "You may not want to [deeply] know yourself because you are afraid of what you may find out. Many people have a secret fear that they are bad. But nothing you can find out about yourself is you. Nothing you can know about you is you."
Cora Richmond, "the most famous woman in the world" of the latter 1800s: "The first sphere of spiritual existence [dark detention, not a pleasant place], like the first sphere of material existence, is thronged with human beings in pursuit of self interests... a selfish [existence]... instead of seeking the innermost stages of being. The result is a corresponding spiritual poverty; for you find that, when you have pursued self only, you are defeated..."
Private Dowding, fallen soldier in WWI: "Make yourself a vessel that you may receive the gift of the Spirit [that is, Universal Consciousness]. You will then require no teaching from outside. Revelation will come to you from within. Retire into the Hall of Silence. Think on these things." Editor's note: compare this with the apostle John's statement below.
Robert Benson, Life In The World Unseen: "The members of these [religious] communities [on the other side] know that they have passed on, [but] they think that part of their heavenly reward is to continue with their man-made forms of worship [attending church as the did on Earth]. So they will continue until such time as a spiritual awakening takes place. Pressure is never brought to bear upon these souls; their mental resurrection must come from within themselves. When it does come, they will taste for the first time the real meaning of freedom."
Thomas Paine, from the afterlife: "In all things l believe that the mind and spirit of man is capable of adjudicating matters that pertain to human freedom, and human enlightenment, and to the knowledge of that which is divine. Beyond that reason, which is the external guide of human thought, there is the divine prompting coming from within; from a realm of which I had little knowledge when on Earth, but which now is the divine reality of being, viz., the realm of intuition, the realm of the spirit, the inner and diviner nature of every human being which determines for him [a sense of] the right, which declares to him the truth, which reveals to him the higher and nobler pathway."
Dr. Carl Wickland: "If you have not found the Joy within, then you might want to return [to the Earth]; those who have [found the Joy within], even if it were possible [to return], would never, ever do so."
Jesus of Nazerath: the gospel of John, chapter 4: "I will give you living waters of eternal life, and you will never be thirsty again!"
Editor's note: The Greek words for "living water" refer to an artesian spring which produces endless water-flow, naturally bubbling up to the surface from the depths - a perfect illustration by the Master Teacher of the inner riches of the soul refreshing the surface personality. In this illustration, we also find his meaning for the statement, "The kingdom of God is within you." And when he said, "Call no man your father," the sense of his message was, "Call no man your infallible guru or final word on anything." Father, as the term was sometimes employed then, meant "great teaching authority." We find the same prohibition against following Dear Leaders in the next item from John the apostle: instead of surrendering autonomy to any external source, we are to quench our thirst for truth via the artesian well of our own sacred inner-person.
the apostle John: attempting to counteract arrogant teachers who claimed that truth could be known only by their authority, John asserts that all important things of life are taught by "the holy spirit, the anointing," that is, the purified consciousness, and in this process no human teaching agency is required:
"I am writing these things about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you... his anointing teaches you about all things." (I John 2:26-27)
J. Donald Walters: "Intuition is the innate ability in everyone to perceive truth directly - not by reason, logic, or analysis, but by a simple knowing from within. That is the very meaning of the word 'intuition': to know, or understand from within - from one's own self, and from the heart of whatever one is trying to understand. Intuition is the inner ability to see behind the outer forms of things to their inner essence."
Mary Bruce Wallace, The Thinning Of The Veil (1919), channeled information from the other side: “All power comes from within and is never generated from without. Great reforms will be accomplished when Inner Forces are brought into activity … We are illumined by our own Higher Self. It is to attain this [sense of independence, of relying on one's own inner life] that the Guides are given to us [that is, the very purpose of Spirit Guides having been assigned to us is to bring us to a state of heightened self-awareness, of helping us to 'wake up' to our own inner riches; compare this to the channeled teaching below via William Stainton Moses ]… The first intuition of the soul is usually the correct one…intuition guides one most unerringly… [the Guide] said: ‘Heed not the voices of the World, but at all times heed the inner voice of the Spirit.’ Within the soul of man shineth the Eternal One, invincible, all-conquering. The higher we rise, the more clearly we realize this… The coming age is to be a day of big things in the soul of man and then big changes in the external world. Prepare by enlarging your consciousness -- enlarge, I say, ENLARGE. Rule without from within. You can do more than you know by the power of thought which is the greatest force in the universe… As we rise in the scale of evolution, this becomes more and more clear to us. Realize your Divine Power. Use it with thankfulness and awe.”
The Essene Gospel Of Peace: "In the Garden of the Brotherhood, each shall follow his own path, and each shall commune with his own heart. For in the infinite Garden there are many and diverse flowers."
The Gospel and the Book of Thomas: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you” … "Whoever finds [the true] self is worth more than the world" … "Whoever does not know [the true] self does not know anything, but whoever knows self already has acquired knowledge about the depth of the universe" … “Beings that come from above derive their life from their own root."
Elizabeth Fry: speaking from the afterlife: "We all realize, automatically, within ourselves, what our part is, what work we have to do; and we realize that we are all interwoven, one with another. I think it is [that] we are all very conscious of this oneness of spirit... You cannot, surely, build a truly spiritual realization of God on something which is of a material conception. God is not found, in a sense, in buildings or places ... God is found within one’s soul, within one’s inner consciousness."
Dr. Daniel Robinson of Oxford on the work of Bishop Berkeley (paraphrased, from a lecture): “Without apperception, experience avails nothing; the Self is different from the idea; content different from the knower. Apperception is paramount to the process: to be experienced at all, the successive experiential data must be combined or held together in a unity of consciousness, which implies a unity of self, and this inner integration is as much an object of experience as anything is. Therefore experience, both of the self and its objects, rests on acts of synthesis that, because they are the [pre]conditions of any experience, are not themselves experienced.”
Editor's note: "Apperception" is not a common word. Consider these brief notes of definition: literally, "to - perception"; Descarte & Leibnitz coined the term; to apprehend as "not-self" and yet in relation to the self; a self-reflective activity, which cannot derive from experience, but is the necessary precondition to allow for experience; "conscious perception" the mental process by which a person makes sense of an idea by assimilating it to the body of ideas he or she already possesses. Dagobert Runes: In epistemology, "the introspective or reflective apprehension by the mind of its own inner states," one of which is the assimilation of data. Otto F. Kraushaar: for Kant, that which makes experience possible. It is where the self and the world come together; the uniting and building of coherent consciousness out of different elementary inner experiences (differing in both time and topic, but all belonging to self-consciousness). What is this "unity of self"? - a panscopic sense of self injected into all experiential data, lives apart from the data, therefore, this "unity of self" survives all experience with objects in the world. Kant distinguished transcendental apperception from empirical apperception. The first is the perception of an object as involving the consciousness of the pure self as subject--"the pure, original, unchangeable consciousness that is the necessary condition of experience and the ultimate foundation of the unity of experience."
William Stainton Moses, "Spirit Teachings," (1883); Moses channeled extensive teachings from advanced Spirit Guides covering many subjects. The wisdom received is impressive and most valuable. But, for our purposes here, it should be noted that the Guides strictly cautioned against becoming too enamored with physical phenomena - i.e., rappings, table liftings, levitations, receipt of apports, and the like -- but, instead, one should focus on the inner journey of the soul, "the spark struck off from God." See the following excerpt from "Spirit Teachings":
"Beware of encouraging the promiscuous evolution of violent physical power [when you seek for a psychic-medium]. Such comes generally from the lower and more undeveloped; and its development is frequently attended by spirits for whose absence you should pray. In the encouragement, especially in newly-formed [psychic-medium] circles, of undue care for physical marvels is a great risk.
"Such are necessary to the work, and we do not in any degree undervalue their importance to certain minds. We desire to bring home evidence to all; but we do not desire that any should rest in that material form of belief, in an external something which is of little service to any soul. We labour for something higher… Nor do we rest content even with showing man that beings external to himself can interfere in the order of his world. If that were all, he might be so much the worse for knowing it.
Editor's note: These Guides are so adamant for us to experience the inner life, the true riches of the soul, that they fear we might be made “worse,” even by knowing of their existence; bedazzled and distracted by a messenger from heaven, diverting our attention from the real action within.
"We have before us one sole aim … to demonstrate to man that he is immortal, by virtue of the possession of that soul which is a spark struck off from Deity itself. We wish … to show him the life that leads to progress, to point him to the future of development and growth…
How can we know that we are beings with a divine heritage?
Editor’s note: Feel the flow of the Guides' argument. They say they have one “aim.” It is to inform us that we are “immortal,” that is, made in the image of God. By what demonstration? “by virtue” of the fact that we possess a divine “soul,” which is like a “spark," a particle of the divine essence, "struck off” from God. And how shall we assure ourselves of this divine possession? We will know that our essential life is divine and from God because it will reveal itself as a “life that leads to progress,” to a “future of development and growth.” In other words, we can know that we are immortal, fit to “live with the gods,” by our awesome potential to enlarge and by a commensurate innate desire to improve, to become, to achieve, to soar. Granted, the “false self” has dampened this success-mindedness with its fear, guilt, despair, and anger – but these merely cloak and overlay and do not represent our natural state. We are to “go within” and discover who we really are, the "made in the image" heritage from which we derive. Special note: compare this desire to achieve and improve with Jesus' teaching, "Embrace this god-life, really embrace it!"
"If we use such [phenomenal] power at all it is because we find it necessary, not because we think it desirable, save always as a means to an end… Regard [the phenomenal] only as means of conviction, as so many proofs to your minds of actual intervention from the world of spirit with the world of matter. Look upon them as such only, and use them as the material foundation on which the spiritual temple may be built. Rest assured that they of themselves can teach you no more than that ... you must go on to further steps.
"You must seek to know of the nature of the agency, of its source and intent. Surely you would desire to be assured that it is of God, beneficent and pure in origin and intent. Surely you would seek to know how much the visitors from beyond the grave can tell you of that universal dwelling-place of your race; how they can satisfy you of your own soul’s destiny, and of the means by which you may best fit yourself for the change which you call death. For if we be not as you, how is our experience fruitful to you? If we cannot tell you of your own immortality, what profits it that we prove to you never so conclusively that we ourselves exist? Such may be a curious fact; it can never be more…
"When you can reach out beyond the phenomenal to the actual investigation of Truth for its own sake—when, in short, you can believe our pretensions—then we can open out to you a realm of which you are yet ignorant, and which has been far more fully revealed to earnest seekers in other lands than yours. To few only in your land have higher revealings of spiritual truth been vouchsafed. Even this means of communing by writing, which seems to you such an advance on the clumsy rapping out messages and such material means of communication is as nothing compared with the inner communing of spirit with spirit without the intervention of material signs… [we] encourage you to rise above the material to the spiritual plane.
"Receptivity must precede higher development: but we yearn and pray for the time when you shall have shaken yourselves free from earthly trammels, and seek only after the higher revealings of Truth. To that end you must have singleness of purpose: you must have shaken yourselves free from human opinion, and have dissociated yourselves from the material plane, so far as an occupant of earth may do so."
Editor's note: This is wonderful advice from the Spirit Guides. Even the "scientific evidence for the afterlife" might become a snare if sought with materialistic view. It is mere stepping-stone and "nothing compared" to the far more valuable intuitive realm, an "inner communing of spirit with spirit." Regard the "scientific evidence" only as means to initial conviction, and then move on to the primary substantive issues of the soul's destiny and one's life in God.
Rainer Maria Rilke: “A billion stars go spinning through the night, glittering above your head, but in you is the presence that will be when all the stars are dead… Think... of the world you carry within you… your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.”
Editor's note: What are we to make of this long list of admonition toward "know thyself" and "going within," a virtual command to "enlarge"? We must conclude that the "riches within" constitute an unfathomable inner-cosmos of raw capacity to be actualized. Apotheosis is in our future. Father Benson appears to be correct: "no discoverable upper limit" to our potential.
Spiritual practice must be uninterrupted. We may be anxious because we see very little happening on a daily basis, but we must be patient until we can see what the accumulation of our effort yields. Self-cultivation means steady gradual progress…
After long self-cultivation, one’s accumulated energy reaches a threshold and then bursts out, full, breathing, and vibrant… When one’s spiritual energy emerges, it feels like a swan rising from the water.
Once you have reached this level of stored energy, you will be a different person.
Deng Ming-Dao, 365 Tao
the 'Absolute Sovereignty of a Human Being' principle:
we are not allowed to abrogate a sacred mandate for self-determination
the following is a quotation from Adrian Smith's new book, "A Prison For The Mind"
The central doctrine of [the English] constitution is known as “the legal sovereignty of Parliament.” This means that Parliament can legislate on any subject matter and having legislated, no court or other body can challenge the validity of that legislation… There are only a few things that Parliament cannot do. It may not bind its successors with such wording as “this Act shall be for all time to come.” Parliament must remain free to change its mind and Parliament may not abrogate its unique powers by giving them away to some other body. Parliament is omnipotent in all things, save the power to compromise its own omnipotence…
I have often thought that I would like to adopt a personal constitution on the UK model and make it my own operating system. We could call it the Absolute Sovereignty of a Human Being. We can have our opinions and convictions, but never bind yourself and always remain free to change your mind. You may not abrogate your unique responsibility [of final word on the course of your own life]…
In the holographic universe, which some scientists believe we live in, the whole is contained in each of its tiny parts. This means that the infinite creative power of the whole universe is enfolded in the individual. We need to stand confidently in the full knowledge of who we are and to command those spirits who would [cultishly enslave us and] keep us ignorant of our true identity…
[When we fail to live our lives according to the sacred directive of self-determination, a personal power vacuum is created in our spirits. During such phase of our lives, Needy Egos, requiring external affirmation, will step in to fill the void.] Perhaps these people are just our teachers at some deep level. They are what happens when you give away your power, when you violate “the absolute sovereignty of the individual” principle. If [a particular cultish leader] had not existed, I would have had to invent him. [In other words, this was an accident poised to happen; if not with that one, then another despot would have arisen to provide the lesson of self-hegemony]...
The entire universe, and we in it, are participants in [an evolutionary process]. The rejection of fundamentalism [not just the religious sort, but all guises in society] allows for a return to the evolutionary path. Fundamentalism, on the other hand, is an evolutionary cul-de-sac, a prison for the mind.
Editor’s note: The apostle Paul in I Corinthians asserted, “We know in part” – there’s so much we don’t know, creating, what Dr. Richard Feynman called, “an expanding horizon of ignorance.” But fundamentalists say the opposite: “We know, we provide certitude, we have the final answers.”
This kind of dogmatism posing as knowledge shuts down the evolutionary, the personal development, process. If we know everything, if all mysteries find resolution in the testimony of a denominated Special One, with the rest of us as mere plebs of the hive, then how are we to move forward from this “prison of the mind”?
Fundamentalism creates a closed system of reality. It hates debate and discourse, as such rational free-flow of ideas would invite scrutiny of its anti-humanistic party-platforms. And this is why fundamentalism so easily and readily drifts toward censorship, ad hominem attacks, and narrow views. All of which short-circuit the normal and natural evolutionary path of human beings.
It will be asked, why is there a mandate to enlighten oneself, to honor the “Absolute Sovereignty of a Human Being”? Who will stop us? If we feel fine-and-dandy, if we feel comfortable remaining as loyal drone in a neighborhood or national cultish organization, maybe that’s our choice.
Well, “choice” sounds very “PC,” but it will cut no ice in certain circles. Who will stop the march toward mindless fundamentalism? The answer is – you will, I will, the “higher self” of each sacred individual will.
If we enter into hard-core alliance with cultish elements of our world, then, when we cross over, when the mortal shell is set aside, we will find ourselves in a dark place. It’s a kind of detention where people, having violated the Absolute Sovereignty of a Human Being principle, will be forced to enter into honest communion with themselves. No angry “Sky God” with a long white beard sends us there. We, ourselves, our higher selves, arrange for this 1-star accommodation.
Why does it happen? It happens because “penalty flags” have fallen as we’ve forgotten that our purpose is to enter the sacred evolutionary path toward godliness. READ MORE on this page.
Editor's last word:
Dr. David R. Hawkins: "It is only the minority of people who seek self-improvement or personal growth. This is because whatever one's self-criticisms, one secretly really believes that one's way of being is okay and probably the only correct one. They are all right as they are, and all problems are caused by other people's selfishness, unfairness, and by the external world."
Elsewhere I have discussed, as pointed out by Spirit Guides, that only a relatively few people, at least on the “lower levels” of Summerland, are interested in self-improvement and personal growth. When I first heard of this I thought it to be quite strange, but Dr. Hawkins, above, explains it to us. It’s part of egocentrism and the “false self.” If you think the world revolves about you, then you’ll see yourself as pretty much ok. In that state of mind, who needs self-improvement? The way forward, the ego believes, is to get rid of the “bad guy”; the problem is “out there, not with me.”
However, the truth is something else.
A discovery concerning the afterlife I count among the most valuable is the above channeled testimony via William Stainton Moses. We are most godlike, say the Spirit Guides, when we live the progressive life, reaching for new heights of achievement and development. How wonderful to think this way, and to know that this success-mindedness is sanctioned by those who manage things in the higher realms.
Concerning personal goals, my plans to diligently study upper-level mathematics will raise eyebrows with my long-ago high-school math teacher. I was not a very good investment for Mrs. Leier's time in those early days of teen distraction. But redemption, in this and all facets of life, is also part of "no upper limit," and many good things are in store for all of us as we "come alive" to ourselves, our true selves. That young boy in Mrs. Leier's class had not yet met his own most authentic interests (in a number of areas).
The blessings of expanded mind-power will be very significant: total and instantaneous recall of anything ever learned, and needing to learn it just once. Barney Fife's boasting to Andy will actually become reality for us: "My mind is a steel trap." [smile]
But an even greater joy awaits us. In "The Wedding Song" we're informed that we shall "travel on" through the happiness of eternity with a Twin Soul lover; as, without her, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun learning all those things; moreover, her darling companionship is vital to make it happen at all; for, without love's vivifying touch, as we also learn from the great Spirit Guides, heaven would hold no allure, and life itself would not be worth living; without true love, all progressive plans, all lofty goals, would disintegrate into existential crisis and meaninglessness. It's "what we stay alive for."
Editor’s note: In the taped lectures of Spirit-Guide Abu, the ancient sage states, to the effect: “No one can hurt you. People in this world may do unkind things to you, but none of that incivility, though unpleasant, can reach your essential essence, your soul. There will be no lasting damage. However, it is possible for you to damage yourself if you were to become bitter or vengeful toward these immature spirits.” This is exactly what Jesus said, as well: “Do not be afraid of them. They can only kill your body.” And that’s not very much. Further, Spirit-Guide Abu has a pet phrase that he likes to use: "You have the horses"; meaning, "You're in charge of your own life! You guide and direct your own destiny"; which is to say, "Make it a good one. Be a bright star. Be all can be. No one can or will stop you. This is not possible as Mother-Father God are fully behind you in all of your sacred endeavors."