The True Religion of Christ VI
The True Religion of Christ VI
Now, since this sensation of being abandoned depends on our attitude, what is to prevent us from changin that attitude? Why should we be content to remain on so low a level that every minute of every day this screen cuts us off from the light and prevents the joy and revelations of the sun from reaching us? This is why initiation exists. Initiation helps us to find our 'place in the sun', as the saying goes, a very elevated, very high place, well above the clouds, a place in which we no longer depend on anyone or anything, a place in which we are unassailable, invulnerable, invincible, immortal.
Believe me, you must constantly rise higher, always higher. You must get closer to him; so close that you succeed in finding him within you; so closely, so intimately within you that you are constantly steeped in his presence. Then you will never again be tempted to say, in the words of St Thérèse of Lisieux, 'Lord, why do you play with me as though I were a ball, as an extraneous object in relation to the Lord, then of course you will not escape the feeling of being abandoned. In spite of all their goodness, love and selflessness, not even the greatest saints or prophets have been spared this sensation.
Now, as I very well know, this is something that happens to you too, so let me say a few more words about it. When you feel that you have been cast aside, that you have nothing to hold on to, that all your ties with the Lord are broken and the spring has dried up, then I advise you to have a conversation with the Lord. Tell him, 'Lord, you have cast me off, you have rejected and abandoned me. As you can see, I am in revolt because you have discarded me. What do you want me to do? I am stuck. I have chosen the path of light, and I cannot turn round and go back.
Sometimes I wish I could; sometimes I think I should switch to another path and go and join the unbelievers, but I cannot do it. However badly you treat me I know that this path is the best. So do what you like, but I cannot change. Even if I am wounded, miserable, and ill, I must go on. Even if I am furious and in revolt, I cannot go any other way.
For me there is no other way. However much it hurts, I shall just have to continue.' If you talk to the Lord in this way he will hear you - words of this kind are the only ones he hears - and he will instruct his servants to come and help you. Whenever some poor wretch on earth utters such a prayer the message reaches God's ears immediately. He always has time for messages of this nature. He declares, 'Make a note of this man's name, for he is the most intelligent of creatures. He is disgruntled and unhappy, and yet he refuses to try a different path. We must take care of him.'
Yes, you must talk like that to the Lord. Why have you never prayed like that? You prefer to threaten him instead. You say, 'If you treat me so badly I shall refuse to believe in you any longer. This is the end. I refuse to do anything more for you - not even light a candle.' The Lord is going to be inconsolable. He will be in the dark because there will be one less candle in church.
There is nothing worse than to think or say to the Lord, 'I have had enough.' Believe me, the best remedy is to go and talk to him, to weep and gnash your teeth and tell him how unkind he is and how unhappy you are. Tell him that you had relied on him and now he has let you down. Yes, tell him all that; but when you have had your say do not forget to add, 'The only thing is that there is no other way, I know that. I cannot go back. So whatever happens, I shall continue to believe in you and to serve you.' Speak to God with great familiarity if you like; he will not take offence. But be sure to conclude your prayer in this way, for, I repeat, this is the best, the only solution.
I know, of course, that it is not easy for human beings to conceive of the Lord as being inseparable from themselves, but as long as they continue to think of him as an extraneous being, a being who is absolutely remote and inaccessible, they will continue to be subject to extremely painful states of mind. This means, therefore, that further progress has to be made. Evolution is necessary in every area, even in religion. But in religion - more perhaps than in other areas - people tend to believe that the precepts laid down thousands of years ago must hold good for all eternity. No, this is not so. Everything evolves, everything makes progress. Look at how science evolves. Only religion fails to evolve. Why does science evolve?
Why do scientists continually make new discoveries? Because instead of believing, they doubt, and their doubt seems to drive them on. Whereas faith, a faith that is not alive, makes human beings stagnate. Actually in this case it is no longer faith, it is credulity.
I have often spoken to you about Jnana-yoga, the practice of self-knowledge. The purpose of a disciple who practises Jnana-yoga is to make it possible for his consciousness to break out of the narrow circle of his own personality and attain the limitless consciousness of the cosmic being dwelling within him, of whom he is still not fully aware. This being, this particle of the Godhead, dwells within each one of us, and a disciple's goal is to become one with it. There are two poles therefore: the pole of your self, the consciousness of your own being, of your own lower self; and the pole of your higher, sublime self, that being of whom you have no real awareness, but who lives, works, and manifests through you. You are not yet capable of knowing how this sublime being manifests in the higher sphere, but from where you are down below you can visualize it dwelling within you and know that it seeks to manifest through you. For as it knows itself on high, it wants also to know itself in you, in the density of your physical matter. If you work with your imagination in this way, your efforts will eventually be rewarded, and as you draw closer to your higher self you will experience an illumination so intense that your consciousness will know no bounds. You will be suffused with light and radiance, and you will sense that you have become one with that sublime being, your higher self.
This is very difficult, of course, but it is one of the most powerful and effective exercises that exists. If you persevere with it you will obtain significant results. And once you have created this link with your higher consciousness, it will always be there, whatever your activities, always ready to take part in all you do. This then is the meaning of Jnana-yoga: the realization that 'I am He', that nothing else exists, that the Lord is the only Being. You are simply a reflection, an illusion formed by him, but your desire is to work your way back through this illusion of self until you reach that sublime consciousness and become one with it, lose yourself in it, and live for ever in its fullness. As long as you remain outside God you are depriving yourself of his riches. He cannot let you share in them, because you and he belong to two entirely different being, that God manifests himself within you. This is death in the initiatic sense of the world: you exist no longer as an independent entity face to face with God; God dwells within you. This is what Jesus meant when he said, 'Except you die you shall not live, 'and 'The Father and I are one.'
Of course, it is not given to everyone to reach this level, but all human beings can free themselves form certain limitations if they make the effort. The trouble is that they do not know how to use the means that God has put at their disposal. God has given us the power to become like him. All human beings have this power but, because of what they are at the moment, they are unable to make use of it. Most of them remain on too low a level and have no knowledge, no sense of it. Yet no one is totally bound; even the most limited people have the means to reach beyond their limitations. If only they would raise their eyes and their thoughts to the regions in which God dwells they would discover their innate possibilities. But how many people are willing to try to change anything in themselves? Of course, as I have always said, the reason is very simple: it all depends on what counts most for them. If money or pleasure is so important to them that there is no room in their minds for anything spiritual, how can we expect them to advance? But show me someone who gives precedence to light, love, beauty and the spirit, someone who does not worry about whether he will be rich or poor, whether he will always have enough to eat or not, whether he will dressed or in rags, honoured or ridiculed, and I will tell you that to such a being everything is possible.
It is the importance you attach to things that determines all the rest. I know that the vast majority of human beings are not attached exclusively to material possessions, but their interest in the spiritual life is incidental, no more than an ornament to their lives. Every now and then, when they have a little spare time or when they are bored, they will read a few pages of a good book, go and listen to something vaguely elevating, meditate or pray a little, but what they really consider to be essential are the material things: physical comfort and a peaceful, untroubled life.
This is why they will never bring down the blessings of the divine world on themselves. They will continue to live and take advantage of all the things of earth but they will never be blessed with spiritual riches; they will never feel or experience the riches of the divine world in their lives. Only when they depart for the next world will they realize that they have made absolutely no progress, that they have been wasting their time.
If you sincerely want to evolve you must give first place to the impulse of your spirit, to light. But you cannot do this unless you have the desire, the need for yourselves. You either have it or not when you come into the world; it depends on the kind of life you led in other incarnations.
For those who come into the world with a taste for spirituality, it takes very little - a book or a few spoken words - to light a fire within them and launch them on a path from which nothing can make them deviate. Whereas others can listen to the sermons of every preacher on earth and remain entirely unchanged. The recommendations and advice of all the saints and all the prophets would fall on deaf ears, because their innate tendencies lead them in a different direction. But if you want to come to earth in your next incarnation with the desire to transform youself, you must begin now, immediately, even if you do not feel the need to do so, because the efforts you make today lay the groundwork for your next incarnation. Next time you come to earth you will already have a taste for this work because you will have sown the seeds in a previous incarnation. Now you can see how useful the work we do in the Brotherhood is. It is perfectly true that some temperaments have absolutely no use for spirituality. And yet all those who unwittingly infected with germs that will manifest themselves at some future date.
But let us get back to the exercise of identification that I was speaking about earlier. You will see, if you do it, that it is extremely effective. However I must warn you that it can also be dangerous, because you can begin to believe that you are already God and allow pride to take over, and pride always leads to disaster. Even if you attain divine superconsciousness you must still be humble; in fact you must become even more humble and upretentious, and be even more careful not to offend others or use your superiority as a weapon against them. There are people who, having learned the formula, 'I am He,' start quarrelling with their family and friends and become absolutely intolerable. Their lives are one long series of conflicts and disputes because tehy want the whole world to acknowledge them as divinities. But if you want to become more and more like God you must have more and more love and generosity. Because God is love. If you have to massacre and ride roughshod over others in order to prove that you are a divinty, it shows that you have not understood the first thing about it.
I warn you, therefore, that from a psychological point of view this exercise of identification can be dangerous. You must be very vigilant, and in order to avoid any possibility of pride rearing its head, you must begin by recognizing that you are not unique, that other people are also part of God. Yes, if you want to practise this exercise as perfectly as possible you must begin by thinking and feeling that not only the Lord but all human beings are also within you, that they are you. This whole collectivity, the whole of mankind is you; it lives in you and you in it. You are apart and separate from others only in appearance. In this way, instead of opposing and tormenting others, you will sense their needs, their cares, and their sufferings and be obliged to help them. This is how you can truly become a divinity and not a monster for whom others are vermin to be crushed underfoot. Remember that if you fail to take appropriate precautions, methods such as this can be detrimental to you. And then of course it will be my fault once again.
Always remember that all the creatures that you see around you are really part of you. Yes, when you tread the path of true initiatic philosophy you begin to realize that all creatures are one. In reality there is only one being: the Creator. All creatures are simply the cells of his immense body, cells that are one in everything but their consciousness. Imagine what it would be like if every cell in your body had an individual consciousness. Naturally, the cells of the feet, the liver, the spleen, and so on would feel different and apart from each other because their functions are different (the heart has one function, the liver another, and so on), and they would either collaborate or conflict with each other.
Yes, but if they reached a higher degree of consciousness they would realize that they are all an integral part of one person, of one being who embraces and nourishes them all.
Well, we must follow the same reasoning. We must remind ourselves that all the individuals on earth - be they Japanese, Chinese, Turkish, Russian, French, or German - are the cells of a single collective being. If their attitude and behaviour do not seem to conform to this reality it is because their consciousness has sunk so low that they are not capable of seeing themselves as the cells of a whole. But once one becomes conscious of being a single cell and feels oneself bound to all the other cells that go to make up the supreme being - God himself - once sees that the whole of humanity is one single being. Once you reach this point you will feel so much love, pity and consideration for others that you will really and truly fulfil the formula, 'I am That.' As long as human beings have not reached this degree of consciousness they will always want to annihilate others; there can be no real change, only a constant inflation of their personality.
I assure you, true change will only come about through this consciousness of unity. We do not exist as seperate individuals; each one of us is a cell in an immense organism, and our consciousness must melt into the universal consciousness that embraces the totality of man, cosmic man, This alone represents true progress, true evolution.
Tangible proof of this bond between individuals can be seen in the fact that, however ignorant and illiterate mediums may be, when they are in a state of trance they can feel within themselves the suffering of the person beside them. And initiates, whose sensitivity is even more highly developed than that of mediums, can also feel the physical and psychic state of others. If they do not usually show it, it is because they have achieved true mastery and to do so would hinder their work. If they were in a continental state of pain or anxiety, how could they help others? It is precisely because they have gone beyond this stage that they are masters and are capable of helping others. I have often experienced this myself: I suddenly feel a pain in one part of my body, and knowing that it comes from someone else. I concentrate on helping that person. Then a few days later I hear from someone who tells me that they had had a terrible pain in that same part of their body, so then they thought of me and now they feel well again. Yes, but it was I who had to bear that pain. It is true that I am capable of overcoming it, but it still involves a great deal of work. This is why it is said that Jesus bore the sufferings of mankind - I can well believe it.
Some people might think that in these conditions it would be better not to be a master or an initiate. Yes, but then they would be deprived of all the rest, too. The suffering that you bear for other people is only temporary, after all; and it is so wonderful to be useful. An initiate is happy to be able to help others and alleviate their suffering. At other moments he feels inspired and elevated because he is in constant communion with a very different order of creatures, creatures that dwell in a permanent state of happiness and bliss. There are so many creatures, both visible and invisible, who live in peace and joy, and you too can experience this marvellous state. So there is nothing to worry about.
Yes, life on earth is an illusion, a dream; reality is something quite different. What is the point of losing eternal life for the sake of an illusion that will soon disappear without a trace? True, you have to eat, clothe yourself, ahve a roof over your head, and so on, but the intelligent way to behave is to do no more than necessary in this area and leave yourself free to acquire the riches that will be yours for all eternity. Otherwise everything will be taken from you, and you will end by being naked and destitute. Even the books you have read and the knowledge you acquired at the university will be taken away and wiped from your mind. Next time you come to earth you will have to begin to read and study all over again, because the wealth you possess today is not really yours; it has been given to you by others. If something does not rightfully belong to you, you are going to have to give it back.
You will be allowed to keep and bring back with you in your next incarnation only the gifts and qualities that you have explored, experienced, and absorbed for yourself. All talents, all gifts of genius can be explained in this way. A philosopher or musician of genius is someone who comes into the world with knowledge acquired through porfound personal experience in a previous incarnation.
Each human being is in this world in order to proclaim the glory of God and help others. But instead of doing this, the great majority bury themselves away and become like brute beasts, because they are always afraid of what the neighbours or their family might think. Of course if everyone is always ruled by fear, nothing new will ever happen in the world. Where will you find anybody who says, 'That is not important; I have everything I need within myself. My inner life is os intense and rich that I need nothing else'?
Are you beginning to understand me? Perhaps you think that those who are not very rich or comfortable in life will certainly understand me. Not a bit of it. On the contrary, they are in a continual state of fury at not being rich or as socially prominent as others; they think of nothing else day and night. Their thoughts are so occupied by envy of others that they fail to take advantage of the good situation in which heaven has placed them, they consider it an injustice. Do you really believe that the poor see the tremendous advantages of their poverty and know how to use it as a stepping stone to perfection? No, they are constantly in revolt against it. Why? Because they want to be like the rich. Outwardly they profess to be scandalized by wealth, but deep in their hearts they long for it with their might. If the rich had a better understanding of their own situation, they would be distressed to be rich and would distribute all their wealth to the poor. And the poor would refuse that wealth, saying, 'No, no we do not want any of it. We are very well off as we are.' If the rich were enlightened, they would be anxious to rid themselves of their wealth, and the poor would want no more than they have.
Is this not the most monstrous, incredible nonsense you have ever heard? Yes, and yet it is absolutely true. The only salvation for the rich is to go to the poor and beg them to take their wealth. And the poor should refuse categorically. Of course, you will say that I am turning everything upside down. Yes, because this is the only way to set everything straight.
One day when I was talking to you about the sun. I described an exercise that you could do when you are up on the Rock for the sunrise (The Rock is a platform at the top of a hill near the Bonfin where Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov gathered with his disciples every morning in spring and summer to meditate and watch the sunrise). It is very similar to the one I gave you a few moments ago: you can try to picture your higher self up there in the sun, and imagine that it is looking down at your puny, imperfect little self sitting here meditating. In this way you create a current between your higher and your lower selves, and this current is the beginning of a new life. Of course you may not feel the effect at once, because it takes time for the current to become stronger and more intense, but before long you will have no more doubts, for you will sense that something extraordinary is beginning to take place within you, bringing you a sense of absolute certainty. There is nothing more marvellous than this certainty. It is only when you are certain of what you say, of what you have experienced, that you can be strong and powerful, capable of convincing others. As long as you are not quite sure of things you will never convince others, because they will always sense your hesitancy. Of course, you cannot know certainty until you have experienced certain manifestations. Certainty cannot be manufactured. Those who possess it possess unequalled powers of persuasion.
Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov