[Addressing the Fourth Wall]:
One of the reasons I so love ebooks is the ability to highlight text and easily find and read those passages later.
In the spirit of Christmas, here are a few (only a small portion) of the text I highlighted from Resurrecting Jesus.
Note: On some of the passages, I highlighted them in order to remind me of lessons and practices, while others I highlighted because they reflected my personal experiences with awakening and kind of surprised me, ie: the “download” of information, the trials and tribulations, the radiance, the engagement (bringing it to life), the relinquishment (what I’m going through now), ….
…Jesus the revolutionary mystic, the one who is actually courageous enough to move through life guided and inspired by the dynamic of his spiritual essence.
Spiritual autonomy is knowing who and what you are—knowing that you are divine being itself, knowing that the essence of you is divinity. You are moving in the world of time and space, appearing as a human being, but nonetheless you are eternal, divine being, the timeless breaking through and operating within the world of time. To Jesus, spirit is everything.
He is the living presence of divine being. He’s a human being too, but he’s here to convey divine being…
…awakening people to eternal life, to discovering divine being within themselves.
…he wanted to break down the lines of separation between people, between heaven and earth, between human and divine.
So the whole Jesus story, ultimately, is the map of a journey that happens within us. It’s an invitation to live out the radiance that’s revealed when we have the courage to step beyond anything and everything that separates us.
Life is this simple: we are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable, it is true. — THOMAS MERTON
My own spiritual development has shown me that we’re all, in essence, the divine radiance of pure being and that we also have our human side: our good days and our not-so-good days. Our human condition is reflected in the great humanity of Jesus, and I believe this is one of the reasons that so many people have felt so deeply connected to Jesus over the centuries.
…but the beauty of the story is in how it reveals that sense of eternity, that still point in the midst of difficulty, that divinity shining through the latticework of time and space.
Jesus is saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is right here, in the place where he’s undergoing his trials, and men do not see it. The beauty of the Jesus story is that he did see eternity while here on this earth; he was eternity, divine being at his core and in his substance.
…each of us can touch upon that intuition that there’s something about us that is unchanged. Throughout all of the ups and downs and changes of life, something is now as it ever was. To touch upon this is to begin to experience eternity within.
That sense of something unchanged is the eternal spark within.
From that state of voidness, after a while a download of insight began—literally hundreds of insights per second downloaded into my system. Just as you download a program on your computer, spirit or divine being was downloading insights into me, many more than I could actually keep up with. This descent of spirit was just as depicted in the Jesus story.
There are many degrees of awakening, but all awakening has as its common denominator a shift from seeing ourselves as a separated, isolated human being to seeing ourselves as that which we all share. You can call it consciousness, divine being, spirit, God. Many words can be used, but it’s the experience that matters.
At some point after awakening—sometimes very soon, sometimes not for quite a while—you reach a stage that I call “trials and tribulations.”
It’s almost as if life says, in order to deal with this situation properly, you are going to have to respond to it from that place of realization, from your deepest nature to which you’ve awakened. If you go back into your ego or into your conditioned mind to respond, it simply won’t work, and turmoil will ensue.
This is an amazing teaching, and it’s message is: if you meet your trials and tribulations from your own deepest realization, they will be released from your system and purified from you, so that eternal being can fully be embodied through your humanity.
When this unification occurs, there’s a simplicity to life, a deep sense of freedom and essential well-being and also of fearlessness.
Where there was abiding tranquility, what awakens now is sense of an extraordinary vitality, of life-force. It’s as if the fullness of your being is radiating, and from the tips of your toes to the top of your head, you feel this very deep and powerful radiance.
…and then you’re infused with this impersonal vitality and radiance, very often it signals that there’s something more in store. There will be another phase of your life, a phase not just of abiding tranquility, but also of radiant engagement.
When transfiguration occurs, we begin to move with what I call “spiritual autonomy.” By spiritual autonomy, I mean a kind of certainty—not an egoic certainty, but one that comes from your essential nature, from the level of divine being. We find this spiritual autonomy very clearly mirrored in the figure of Jesus. Jesus walks through his life knowing who he is and what he’s doing, even though his disciples don’t understand him, the authorities don’t understand him, and the Pharisees don’t understand him.
The next stage of the awakening journey is what I call “relinquishment.” In the story of Jesus, relinquishment is symbolized by the crucifixion. Ultimately, relinquishment is the experience of the death of ego. Awakening is the transcendence of ego; awakening doesn’t mean the ego is dead or even that it’s really gone anywhere. The awakening experience may change the nature of ego, making it more unified, more whole, but the ego is still there. Relinquishment is what spiritual teachers mean when they say, “die before you die.”
The kingdom of heaven is spread upon earth and men do not see it. When you see this, you shift from being a victim of your life and assigning blame for the tragedy you encounter. The truth, I would suggest, is that you poured yourself willingly into form out of infinite love in order to redeem the entirety of this life. When seen from that perspective, all of a sudden life looks very different. You stop holding back from life, your inner life or the life around you, because the kingdom of heaven is within and all around you. That’s the message of the Jesus story.
Merry Christmas everyone. Thanks for following along on this journey.
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