By One Man Sin Entered the World
Closeness to God
Overcoming the Image and the Memory of the Bully
The Kingdom of God
What Motivates You?
To Sin is to Experience Emotion
How to Believe Properly
Living Life in God's Love
Getting Your Needs Met
Subject to God
A Slave of Sin
Closeness to God
There is No Love in the World
What's Wrong with Reacting
Doing Business with the Mafia
The Magic in Selfless Giving
Dealing with the Alien Identity Within
Living in the Light
Ego Supportiveness is Not What You Think
Something to Respond To
Bear Each Other's Burdens
This book is a love story. It is the story about the love between the most wonderful God and those who love Him. The refrain from an old rock and roll song is "To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him." And so it is.
These were the opening lines of the introduction to a book I wrote a couple of years ago titled A Day with the Lord. Nothing has changed. The whole of history is still a love story. But most people don't find the love that would solve all their problems and give them joy and peace. There are reasons why most people go to their grave never finding this wonderful love.
First, they allow problems to get to them and to fill their minds, hearts, and hours. They become so fixated on struggling with their problems that they forget to stand back and get help from the one source that could really solve them.
Of course, it is not all their fault. Part of the problem is the authorities that preceded them and who purport to lead and teach them. These authorities are themselves struggling with issues and have failed to find the Holy Grail of guidance from within and above. All they can do is teach others to futilely struggle with problems just as they did.
The second reason why most people fail to find the perfect love they have always wanted is that they resent other people. Resentment, hatred, judgment, and grudges block us from finding love. You cannot hate and find love at the same time. Make no mistake about it, unless you are willing to let go of your resentments toward others, especially your parents, you cannot find the true solution to your problems.
The third reason why most people fail to find lasting solutions, fulfillment, and love is that they keep struggling with and resenting their issues. Resenting and struggling only involves you more with the problems you are struggling with. So immersed and overwhelmed by the struggle do you become that you forget to stand back and get the big picture.
The fourth reason why we never find love and salvation from all our ills is that we are looking for the wrong kind of love. We have a faulty idea of what love is, and so we look for the kind of love that glorifies us and which comforts our wrong self. When true love appears, perhaps in the form of patient correction for our errors, we hate it and avoid it because it makes us feel bad.
Finally, most people never find the secret to life because of something called emotion. We all have been taught that feelings are a good thing and that we should give in to them. But feelings are, in fact, emotions and excitements that rise to get a grip on the mind and prevent it from reaching to Heaven and finding the inner light.
You may have noticed that I used terms like “love, fulfillment, solutions, peace of mind, joy, and the secret to life” almost interchangeably. This is because they are all the same thing. Find one and you have found them all.
I have often said that the grace that God offers us is a package deal. You get it all. So you either have it or you don't. If you don't have it, then you better search for it and do so sincerely. God is the answer. Find Him and you have found it all.
All I can do is offer some clues to finding the way, and provide a little bit of discussion about some of the things that tend to get in the way of meditating properly, finding the inner light, and relating to others properly. So that is what this book is about.
The beautiful thing is that your problems, and most people have plenty of them, hold the key to your eventually conquering and rising above them. Currently, unless you are advanced on the meditative path to God, you are buried under layer upon layer of memories and conditioning based on reacting wrongly in the past. In this state when a new issue comes along, the memories and conditioning of the past rise up and overpower you, drawing you down into the same emotions, worries, and ineffective remedies you used on the past. In this condition even if you see that what you did in the past was ineffective, you still don't know what else to do.
But let's say that you begin to awaken, see the need for some changes, and start meditating. Let's say that the light dawns and you begin to experience repentance, the quite purging of your errors in God's light. Now you are chastened and humbled. Now you have a little insight into how to handle things henceforth. You see, for example, that you must not resent others. You see that there are no true solutions to be found in worry and intellectual analysis. You see that most people are lost too, so you can't look to them for guidance.
Now you are on the path back to reason and dignity in God's light, and it is precisely now that problems are beneficial! Why? Because just as when in order to develop practice and skill at playing the piano you need a piano to practice on, so you need practice applying the new ways that grace makes possible.
In order to be able to apply your new found way of looking at life, you need issues to arise so that now you can practice your new way. Each new problem gives you the opportunity to remain patient, to look to intuition and to move with the energy of love instead of impatience and resentment. Now relating to people and situations properly, the word becomes flesh. The insight and understanding you are given in your moment of need, together with the power to remain patient which you are given by God's grace, now is good for others and good for you too as you bring forth the good from within.
Now you overcome each issue the right way, and you stand in awe of the power of patience, and growing in grace, you find even more faith to face ever greater issues.
My brothers and sisters, count it all joy when you experience various trials; knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1: 2)
"You hypocrites, laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men . . .making the word of God of no effect through your tradition." (Mark 7)
The whole world is under the sway of sin. Christ said that all who sin are slaves. It states in the Bible quite properly: Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned.
Sin entered the world, and we are all born subject to this world ruled by sin, and so we are also subject to death which comes with sin. Sin entered the world and its rule is passed on through each succeeding generation.
Sin takes various forms, wears many faces, and has many variations, depending on who you were born to and which culture you were born into. Nevertheless, it has things in common no matter whether you were born in Montana, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Mexico, or England.
It entices us to step away from the straight and narrow path, and it is a sensuous thing. In fact, all sin is sexual.
Can you see why, for example, sin is a sensual thing? The original sin of humankind was reaching for a material thing, and a forbidden one at that. Thus the intent of self seeking translated into a physical thing in the act of reaching, taking and eating. The psychic intent and inclination now translated in its fleshly form--namely desires, concupiscence, and animal drives and impulses which became involved in any earthy desire and reaching. Sin leads through our unconscious high to a climax of forgetfulness, but the piper must be paid. We pay for our climax in terms of loss of life force and an early death.
That is why sin is sensuous and why it is sexy. It excites the animal sensual side and thus it is the beginning of the fallen life. It has a certain aura about it; the wistful longing and dreaming of some naughty sensual things is a "la la land" of promise and a forgetfulness of obligation and duty. Incidentally, "la la land" is very aptly defined as "a state of dreamy disconnection from reality. It offers an exciting life and takes your mind off of the consequences. Indulging it, we are excited and swept away with emotions, sexual feelings, and daydreams of greatness, glory, and being worshipped.
But once it establishes a foothold, it sends out roots and embeds itself in your mind, nerves, and tissues. It then calls you to repeat the same scenario by which it entered over and over.
If it was an overtly sexual sin by which it entered, it craves more sexual sin and each time at lower and lower levels. If it was forbidden junk food, then it craves more junk food. It is a slippery slope because, remember, sin is a fulfillment, and that fulfillment is death. So each time the sin must be deeper, more deadly, and more risky.
If it was anger, then it craves to be angry and violent.
If the sin was cultural--which it often is--then it began with getting lost in cultural food, rituals, cultural holiday moments and so on, usually with over indulgence. It is a giving in and going along, with each submission to family or society culture involving a little loss of life and identity.
These are the emotionally charged scenes, with repetition and group dynamics playing a part, that make them hypnotic and by which the cultural programming enters in our unaware state. But here is the critical part--the spirit of trauma, which is the spirit of the world, also enters in these moments of sin.
Yes, it is sin. But it is not your sin. It began when you were just a child, vulnerable and suggestible. You naturally went along with what your parents and everyone else was doing.
Why is mindless obeisance to tradition and culture sin? Because it is at variance with the communality and brotherhood of humankind. Cultural practices divide us up into different cultures, cults and factions. It is sin because we are being influenced, moved, and programmed by something on the outside. Remember, we were created to be children of God. We should only be moved by Him, programmed by Him, and influenced by Him. When our minds and hearts are turned elsewhere, it is sin.
Christ said, "You make the law to naught by your traditions." He was talking about religious traditions that enslave the people to ideas and forms, whereas the true spirituality is an abiding relationship with God.
The point I am making here is that anything that replaces God, His laws, His Presence, His love, His intuitive guidance, and His centrality in our love is an interloper that stands unholy in the place of the holy. The relationship with any person, idea, words, ritual or practice, no matter how truthful and seemingly nice it might be is positively harmful when it replaces the relationship with God and what comes from God.
Knowledge, cultural ways, and words have a value, but only when they are extensions of the inner good. Then they become a tool and vehicle for the good. Seek first the Kingdom of God, said the Messiah. Trust in God and lean on Him, we are exhorted in the Scripture. But when we turn first to words, knowledge, rules, or people, our hearts harden and minds are turned to the world, and it is thus that Christ said “They honor me with their mouth but their hearts are far from me."
A great man said “Don’t react to anybody. Because once you react to the world, the world comes into you."
The hypnotic relationship and the relationship we have with intense pleasure, music, or intense involvement (even with imagination) cause our minds to be in a different place. Our soul is emptied when something else replaces God in our hearts, and to take God's place is a bond with some other presence, a presence that takes advantage of our severed relationship with God. We are literally not in our right mind. And into the gap may come another force upon the mind.
Now do you see why tradition (culture) claims each new generation for itself? Culture is a physical, emotional, and societal replacement for the kingdom of God.
Sin enters us, and along with sin, death. We are born into this fallen state, but our demise is hastened by our risky and foolish lifestyles.
Sin can and often does enter through emotions. Bear in mind that each emotion is a sort of rebellion from faith and calmness. Emotion is a response to some external object or person or situation and its image inside, and the emotion always includes some sort of temptation to the mind, an appealing suggestion about some external person, object or situation. And when you hearken to that whispered notion and begin to respond to it emotionally, you have stepped away from pure faith.
That is why emotions lead to mistakes. Emotions are a response to some temptation. The bigger the temptation, the more emotion. The more exciting the temptation, the more emotion.
No wonder we become more animal, more base and sensual when we yell and scream at a ball game, for example. Under the spell of emotions, we do and say things we would never have said or done when calm. So it is sin to make something too important (more important than what is right in your heart). It is a sin to respond to whispered ideas instead of waiting for wordless guidance.
It is also sin to step away from common sense and over indulge ourselves in something.
Can you see that stealing one penny is wrong? To steal the penny, you step away from propriety and the law, under some sort of influence. It is that other influence that is part of the problem, but really all it does initially is test your loyalty and fidelity to what is right. It is your weakness that is the real problem. And when you step away from what is right and yield to some whispered temptation, then after that, the next time a similar situation presents itself, you go into a trance and repeat the act.
The first time you had a choice, although technically you did not have a choice since you were born with a fallen nature inherently gullible, rebellious, naughty, and easily misled. You inherently respond to temptation and then hide in sleep.
But you had sort of a choice, because you did not have to give in to the feelings or notion. You could have walked away. But give in you did, and after that you were no longer free. All you can do is struggle and eventually give in. Or transfer the response to someone or something else. A man escapes from his mother and finds a wife who becomes his mother. A man gives up drugs and takes up cigarettes. Then he gives up cigarettes and takes up chewing gum. The same trance state is produced by the chewing gum as is produced by the cigarette or the drug.
He gives up alcohol, but gets religion. He is still in a trance, and religious tradition replaces God in his heart. In some ways he is worse off because now, like the false Hare Krishna type meditator, he is under the delusion that all is well.
It would be much better to transfer your allegiance to God and then your sins are transferred to Him. He takes your sins upon Himself and they melt in His purity. In exchange you receive His identity, and then you look to Him for life instead of looking to sin for life (excitement).
I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10: 10)
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only True God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17: 3)
I pray that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in me, and I in You, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that You sent me. (John 17: 21)
"It is a prayer not of the head, but of the heart. Our abandonment, then, should be, both in respect to external and internal things, an absolute giving up of all our concerns into the hands of God, forgetting ourselves and thinking only of Him; by which the heart will remain always disengaged, free, and at peace." Madame Jeanne Guyon - A Short and Easy Method of Prayer
- 2 -
Closeness to God
The basis of addiction is ego stubbornness. The original lie was that reaching for the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would not result in death. Instead the lie was that we could be like gods. But the truth was that eating the forbidden fruit did lead to death.
Today, we are still reaching for what promises that we can feel like a god. And we doubt and deny that it will lead to death. We keep reaching for what is in reality killing us. Every one of our excesses and over indulgences is killing us. We reach for the junk food, we stress ourselves with anger, we reach for the drug, marijuana, or alcohol. We eat too much and we work too much. We are addicted.
We eat junk food, even though we know it is not good for us. We over-indulge food, drink, television, shopping, spending, and exercise--even though we know our over-indulgence is not good for us.
Somehow we manage to doubt the truth. What are we looking for in the junk food, drug, alcohol, sensual experience? We are looking for a high, a moment of forgetting how low we are and of getting caught up in an experience where for a moment we can feel like a god.
We are also looking for escape. Escape from what? Escape from the truth that puts a wet blanket on our delusions, and a truth that makes us aware of what failures we are.
As long as we refuse to admit we are wrong we will need to escape from truth. And as long as we want to believe the lie, we will need to reach away from simple reality to some false promise.
Let me go over the ground one more time. Adam reached for the forbidden fruit, and that reaching symbolized his reaching away from closeness to God toward something else.
Now let us talk for just a moment about what closeness to God is, so that we can see just what constitutes reaching away from that closeness. Closeness to God is close to intuition, a wordless way of knowing. Intuition is the prime way of knowing for humans. So when we reach to words, book knowledge, mere thinking, analyzing, trying to figure out (without intuition), we are reaching away from God’s main way of communicating with us.
Closeness to God means being content with what we have been given and being content to wait until more is given or shown us. But when we become impatient and want to know more than what is at hand, we must reach to some other source.
Being close to God means living in God’s Kingdom, where Jesus is Lord. But when we want to be lord of our life, we must reach away to what appears to make us lord. This other will, this other presence caters to our ego and offers false hopes and dreams, but when you follow this other will, it becomes your lord. You thought--in your delusions and pipe dreams of greatness, of wealth, power, popularity, pleasure--that you were lord of all you survey, but actually, if you persist on this course, you wake up as a slave in hell and the devil is your lord.
So now is the time to turn around, for heaven’s sake, while you still can. Let your illicit excesses and false friendships sour. Cleave to what you know in your heart. Cast aside any images of yourself and just become a regular person. Become, for a short spell, a nothing, so that you can become a something of God.
Being close to God means living in the present moment, where truth is and where we sense God’s Presence and where we await inspiration from Him. Reaching away from the present moment is reaching into memory and reliving the past or planning and scheming for the future.
Reaching for emotions also removes us from awareness of God’s Kingdom, as emotion involves us in an altered relationship with some external person or object or with the memory of some such interaction.
Perhaps now you can see that it begins in the mind as a subtle desire, yearning, and movement. It can begin with a yearning or very subtle almost hidden desire or ambition, and when a temptation comes along, that very subtle inclination results in a movement toward it. There follows a lending of the ear, a cohabitation with the internal mental tease or, in the case of external tease, with the external words, actions, presence, or symbolize object that represent the temptation. The movement towards it is again another movement, and it eventually will result in movement toward something and partaking of it, in other worlds experiencing it.
But now back to the important point I just made--it begins in the mind. It is very subtle, like a precursor, but it permits the kindling of emotion, the inception of movement.
Now you can see how the average person spends their whole day moving away from God in a thousand, yea thousands and tens of thousands of such subtle movements.
It is very very subtle and almost impossible to detect unless you are very aware because remember the serpent was the most subtle of the beasts in the Garden. He very cleverly used the spoken word, woman and the food as vehicles and embodiments. So Adam's fall began with listening to the woman, which is a simple natural thing, as well as reaching for food, also natural. But in this case the temptation was in these natural things, so that reaching for food was also reaching for temptation.
It is thus not hard to see that there is temptation in the junk food. But it takes more awareness to see that there very likely is a reaching away from reality and God in your cup of coffee, the very act of putting the cup to your lips and experiencing the coffee. There is very likely an inclination to escape in your mindless reaching for the radio dial or for your iPhone to put music on as you drive to work. There is a reaching away from God when you fall into daydreaming about what happened at the office. There is reaching away from God in reading the headlines online or watching some Youtube video about some politician, sports, or celeb.
No, I am not saying that a cup of coffee or listening to the radio is wrong. But it becomes wrong when we use it for escape. Now I realize that the average person is not consciously trying to escape from conscience and intuition when they listen to music, eat, or daydream. But it has become an unconscious habit. But as long as the person does not yearn for truth and God, this unconscious habit will rule, and drifting away with our daily escapes we come under the influence, without realizing it, of other wills than God's.
Any movement of the mind away from truth--such as reaching for bottled water when you are not really thirsty, reaching for a candy or mint when you are not hungry, checking your test messages when nothing important is anticipated, looking at items on line when you don’t need anything--all are reminiscent of moments in the past when you reached away from reality and now you do so unconsciously and constantly.
I am not suggesting that you can change your nature. You cannot. I just want you to see in a new light your endless acquisition for knowledge, your frittering away time, and your tendency to get pulled into things. See your loving attention to things, your hobbies, your constant eating and drinking, and your falling into daydreaming for what they are. Your nature is so constituted that you simply can’t say no to anything.
The only time you can say no is when something else has you caught up and captured in it. But then it becomes a problem, and soon you are looking for something to “save" you from it. That is why people give up alcohol and take up food. Then they cut back on food and chew gum. They give up gum and endlessly sip bottled water. They get away from one person, only to fall into the clutches of someone else that is even worse.
We began life looking for happiness and glory in romance and marriage, in achievement, in adventure, in athletic exploits, or in stardom. Then we were disappointed and looked for happiness in possessions or perhaps another partner. Again we were disappointed. As our stressed out lifestyles (stress from the pursuit and then stress from what we attained), we look for peace and relief and health in medicine, medical procedures, pills, retirement, and social security. But there is no true peace there. Finally we might just sit and vegetate, staring at hour after hour of television.
When the daydreams about the promises of all the aforementioned don’t play out, we then settle for pure escapism. Again it is something like when you find yourself standing in front of the refrigerator staring inside, looking for something, you don’t even know what.
Many people reach the point where they no longer expect to find that something, so they just settle for escapism of television, parlor games, going to the casinos, or wasting away, absorbed in memories of the past.
It is not a pretty picture, but see it you must, because then you will realize your NEED for salvation.
You need to be saved from temptation that takes advantage of your weakness, a nature that yearns for more and thus has a propensity to look for fulfillment in people, places, things, and in knowledge. You need to be saved from your inherited nature.
Others take advantage of your nature and exploit it. Politicians and seducers of all kinds exploit your gullibility and your secret desire for glory, and then your need for distractions to take you away from realizing the guilt for your pining and reaching.
Escapism, distraction, even attention deficit are just terms to name what the average person does thousands of times a day--reach away from reality, away from God, and away from truth. Reality is boring to the ego, because the ego craves escape and something to reach for.
What is that you are looking for when you find yourself standing in front of the refrigerator, wistfully looking for something? Aren't you seeking temptation, something to carry you away, enthrall you, involve you, help you forget, and make you feel grand and good? Even if only for a moment?
Women know when men look at them with that hungry look. It is because women symbolize and embody the promise of being god and living eternally. Women seem to embody, for men, that wistful "something" that the male ego is looking for.
What is the nature of the hunger we have for food when we are not even hungry? Isn’t it something in us looking for fulfillment? We are looking for the forbidden fruit. And when you look for it, as sure as I’m sitting here, it will find you. It senses your need and secret desire. It then promises to fulfill and soon you drift away into delusions with it, but the real thing is never what it was cut out to be. Haven’t you discovered this?
So you see that the sin experience begins in the mind, with an inclination toward some appeal, and then when cohabited with, images are generated in the mind and under the careful control of the seducer, you are led into testing/tasting some experience with an object, substance or person. It is from first hand experience with the external object, substance, or person that feelings are generated, conditioning takes place, familiarity develops and memories are formed both in the tissues and in the mind.
Resentment also begins in the mind. Many emotions are throughout the body, but certain emotions seem to really affect the mind. The brain, it is said, does not have feeling; yet strong emotions of resentment, fear, anxiety, and anger seem to actually be felt in the head.
Of the above mentioned, the one that seems deepest and only affects the mind at some level is resentment. But once having resented, lower emotions and processes are activated.
Resentment hands you over to the lower. So after resentment, then any of many emotions can become manifest, as well as the physical symptoms from such emotions. For example, resentment hands you over to tension, and tension can lead to headaches and various pains and strains. Resentment can hand you over to anxiety, and with it fear, sweating, sleeplessness, upset tummy and many other symptoms of fear. Resentment can hand you over to frustration, and then to ulcers, adrenal exhaustion and other associated issues.
The list goes on and on. I just want you to see that resentment is the point of separation from patience, calmness, and understanding. And with that separation, the lower emotions are implemented and with them various symptoms. Even dogs and rats, when subjected to artificial frustration (stress) in the laboratory will experience ulcers and adrenal exhaustion. For humans, the same things occur--but only after you have become resentful. If you remained calm and mentally distant to the stress, it would be perhaps unpleasant, concerning, even troubling, but it would not cause ulcers and exhaustion, unless you resented it.
The resentment, you see, is a fall. And in the fall, the part of us that is animal gains the ascendancy. Or haven’t you noticed. After your next bout of resentment, notice how you become angry, and then when you are angry, you become thirstier and hungrier.
Something else arises: physical symptoms of issues that resulted from your emotional, stressed lifestyle. The body has a memory of everything, and when you become resentful (again), the mind and body revisit the memory bank of prior similar resentment experiences. So your new resentment not only is a new cause of another layer of wrong reactions, contributing to prior ones and well as contributing to new and even worse ones; but you also must re-experience in the mind and in the flesh prior symptoms, which are now reactivated, and prior conditions may begin again or be transferred to other organs and systems.
To put it simply, when you become resentful anew, you will feel tension again, for example, and perhaps the re activation of a symptom such as an ulcer.
The ego life is built on wrong responses, beginning with a response to temptation, and then to every other thing. We begin responding to people and objects as if they were challenging us, and then we react to ideas and memories in the mind as if they were challenging us.
Each response to challenge with animal emotion results in changes in the body. Sure, for a while we may be sharper mentally and physically energized, but a toll is taken, and the day comes when instead of growing stronger and feeling energized, we begin to be drained and debilitated. At this point, since all we know how to do is react to things, we begin reacting to our symptoms, and we drain ourselves even more.
Then we resent our symptoms, thus forming another memory, another layer, and with each response to temptation (and people, places, situations, objects and symptoms) we lose character and become even more reactive. When we are sufficiently drained of adrenaline, we experience a type of anxiety associated with an inability to cope with any stress.
Ambition makes us reach out for things and separates us from the patient progress we would enjoy in the spirit. Resentment separates us from love and again from patience, this time because we are hating someone.
The calm, patient nonresponse is one of wishing the best for another; whereas resenting another is seeking to rob them of time and is also a hatred of them. Our attitude should be--let me help you, rather than wishing to impose our will on them and then hating them when they don’t bow to our will. At least, we should be neutral toward them, neither liking them unduly nor hating then. Thus we are not a temptation to them. Thereby we also remain connected with patient love and understanding from God.
When we are patient with another, we are literally giving them time; when we are impatient, we are seeking to rob them of time. God is patient with us, giving us more time to see the error of our ways and recover. And so we must also be patient with others.
Patience gives time; impatience robs time. When you are patient with another, your patience dies not rob them of time, and you will then also have more time. But when you are impatient with another, you also thereby rob yourself of time.