Originally posted on Neale Donald Walsch's BeliefNet blog on Sunday 23 March 2008
Can you believe in your own perfection? Or do you believe that there is something you have to do in order to be perfect in the eyes of God?
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Sunday is Message Day on the blog. Monday through Friday we look at contemporary events and day-to-day occurrences at the intersection of Life and the New Spirituality…but on Sunday, we reserve this space for a specific teaching derived from the material in Conversations with God
Through the years I have given hundreds of talks and written scores of articles revolving around this material. Every seven days we will present in this space a transcript or reprint of one of those presentations. We invite you to Copy and Save each one of them, creating a personal collection of contemporary and uplifting spiritual thought which you may reference at any time. We hope you will find this a constant source of insight and inspiration.
This week’s offering: As above, so below
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I said here last Sunday that The Body, the Mind, and the Spirit all hold all the data of the universe. Indeed, they are all the data of the universe, compressed into one location.
That statement has profound implications. It means that there is nothing you have to know, nothing you have to do, and nothing you have to be except exactly what you are knowing, doing, and being Right Now.
It means that you are Perfect just the way you are in this instant. It means that your long journey to Perfection is over -- and that it was never even necessary.
The idea that you were somehow imperfect was a fiction, a conceit of your cultural story, a concoction of your religions, which would have you believe that you are the imperfect creation of a Perfect Creator.
This idea -- the thought of your own Perfection -- is theologically revolutionary. It eliminates the need to do anything at all to render yourself worthy of heaven, to prepare yourself to be reunited with God, or to elevate yourself to a place of higher consciousness wherein Nirvana and Bliss may be experienced.
This idea -- the thought of your own Perfection -- is startling in its implication and forms the basis and the foundation for a new kind of spirituality. A spirituality born not in sin but in celebration, not in redemption but in recreation, not in the need for salvation but in the invitation for the full expression and experience of Who You Really Are.
Life as we have been living it upon the earth has been, it turns out, a case of mistaken identity. We have been denying...
...our True Selves in favor of a story about who we are that leaves out all the crucial data and replaces it with an utterly fictionalized account of our relationship with All That Is.
All of the world's great Masters have been trying to tell us this through all the Ages of Man. The Buddha said that all we had to do was drop our utterly fictionalized account of our relationship to All That Is. Moses invited us to live in a new way, to rise up above the lawlessness and the hedonism of our primitive human culture and to live as gods. Jesus showed us what that looked like, then opened the door for us to have the same experience. Just do as he did, he said. Just follow his example, he urged. He pointed out that it was in the books of the Old Testament in which it was written, "Ye are gods."
Indeed, every spiritual teacher from the beginning of time has issued us an open invitation to step away from our primitive behaviors and to move into the expression of our own divinity, proclaiming it to be our true identity and the manifestation of Ultimate Reality. This is the essential teaching of Mohammed, who proclaimed that jihad was the war within, the internal struggle, the raging battle inside all human beings who intuitively know at some very deep level that they are more than this, more than merely human, more than primitive barbarians, and capable of behavior elevated to the level of the Divine.
Yet we have determined and decided to become Children of a Lesser God. By twisting and turning and misunderstanding and distorting the messages of our holiest teachers, we have convinced ourselves that we are born in sin, and that it is our job to return to holiness, to work our way to worthiness, to seek the merciful and compassionate forgiveness of a loving father by doing His Will and sublimating our desires to His Purpose for us.
Now along comes a holy dialogue called Conversations with God that boldly declares: "God's will for you is your will for you." Now along comes a New Spirituality that gently but clearly announces the Divinity of Humanity and declares that the very purpose of life is for humanity to know this, and to experience its True Identity.
Can we believe such a claim? Can we embrace such a notion? Can we possibly move into the living of such an idea? These are the questions laid before us in the first quarter of the 21st Century. Once again it is time for us to be led from the desert to the Promised Land. Once again it is time for us to follow the example of the Son of God, who said, "I and the Father are one." Once again it is time for us to heed the call of Mohammed to join in jihad -- the holy war within, the internal struggle -- to find, to express, and to experience a Higher Self.
I have spoken at length these past twelve years of this extraordinary and challenging process. Engaging the process can change your life. It can utterly alter your day-to-day priorities and completely shift your moment-to-moment reality. Things that were important before are important no longer. Things that caused you upset in the past now bother you not at all. Things that captured your attention and demanded your energies suddenly feel inconsequential and absolutely unrelated to your reason for being and your purpose in living.
We are talking here about the difference between the Little Self and the Big Self. The Big Self holds all the data of the universe. Indeed, it is all the data of the universe, compressed into one location The Little Self is the self that emerges from the data of the brain. The Big Self is the self that emerges from the data of Consciousness.
The struggle, the jihad, is about growth. It is about expanding from the Little Self to the Big Self. Then it is about moving back and forth freely between the two. For the Little Self was never meant to be abandoned, but merely experienced at will rather than by compulsion. The Little Self has a purpose. That purpose is to contextualize the experience of the sacred being that you are, so that you might know your self in the fullness of your True Identity. Every Master who has ever walked the planet has moved between the experience of the Little Self and the experience of the Big Self, enjoying and celebrating both in the wondrous and joyous and glorious expression called Life.
Life in the Realm of the Physical is what makes the fullest experience of the Little Self possible. Life in the Realm of the Spiritual is what makes the fullest experience of the Big Self possible. The experience of the Total Self is possible always, and these two realms allow for its True Identity to be experienced more profoundly. We therefore move from one of these realms to another in an endless cycle. This is called the Journey of the Soul. And in between these two realms lies the place where both are merged. This is the place where we both Know and Experience our Total Self. It is the place of pure bliss. It is the place of merging into oneness. It is Nirvana. Heaven. Paradise.
Yet even as we leave the arms of our lover, so, too, will we leave Paradise. We will emerge from the fullness of our Knowing and Experiencing so that we might Know and Experience our Total Self and our True Identity anew, and even re-create It. So that we might grow It and expand It.
It is growth and expansion of the Self that is the only desire of God.
It is the movement from Mergence to Emergence that produces the possibility of such growth. This is the breathing in and the breathing out of that which we would call Allah, Brahmin, Divinity, God, Lord, Jehovah, Yawey, and by many other names. This is the respiration of Life.
Many people have asked me through the years why we cannot stay in the state of pure bliss which we experience at the time of our union with All That Is. Why do we have to keep on journeying from the spiritual to the physical and back again? Why do we have to keep on meeting up with All That Is only to have to let go of it?
Now let those who have ears to hear, listen. This is the reason: growth. This is the purpose: expansion. This is the experience: ecstacy. The happiness and the wonder and the glory of re-creation. The joy of giving birth. To Ourselves. Once Again. In the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever we held about Who We Are.
As Conversations with God explained to us in the very first dialogue, this is the purpose of all of life. Each time we merge with The All and emerge once again, we enlarge the Self. This is something that has not been widely explained by our world's religions or deeply comprehended by our world's people.
Yet now we understand fully the Eternal Journey of the Soul, the Endless Cycle of Life, and the Will of God.
Amen, and amen.
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