Monday, November 21, 2016

Disciples as Mind Traits 3



JACOB’S DREAM BY JAMES TISSOT


Why did Jesus have disciples? Couldn’t he go it alone? Asking such questions can lead us to different perspectives regarding our own spiritual journey. If we are totally honest with ourselves, all we want is to understand ourselves. Then, the next thing we want is to understand others. Looking into the lives of the disciples can assist with this.
When we look at the disciples the first thing we notice is that each disciple is different, yet they walk together, and they walk with a leading principle called Jesus. This does not mean that we should look for a leader outside ourselves, but rather look for a leading principle within us.
When we look at the characteristics of the disciples we will identify with one more than another. This can reveal to us the path we are on, and another disciple can reveal the path a friend is on, this should not be cause for disagreement. Yet this is often the case; unless you agree with someone you are against them is a common principle today. This has a stifling effect because unless you have the strength to support your own ideas you are silenced in one way or another.
Apart from describing our different paths, each disciple represents mind traits. We can think like Thomas in one situation, and respond like Judas in another. Understanding the twelve traits revealed in the nature of the disciples, we can understand ourselves better, and find ways of responding to life differently. Also, if we can identify where other people are coming from - a Judas or a Thomas trait - we will meet their ideas with understanding and life will be more harmonious.
The next three disciples show that the conventional interpretation of them is actually the opposite of what they really represent as mind qualities. This is often the case when we investigate beneath the surface to discover spiritual meanings.

Nathanael Bartholomew, Judas and Thomas

Nathanael Bartholomew: Nathanael means gift of God. He is known by his family name, Bartholomew, in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. St. John calls him Nathanael. In my book on the Disciples I show how Nathanael is the faculty of imagination within us. Not fantasy but real imagination - a spiritual imagination able to create concepts as living images. By creating moving pictures in our mind when we try to understand a concept brings it to life. Also, these concepts will be much easier to remember. This is a method used by people who have excellent memories and inventors also think this way as they work out the detail of their invention.
What this means is that we ‘see’ things differently. Here is an excerpt from my reflections about Nathanael seeing,
“Jesus points out to Nathanael that this is only the beginning: “You shall see greater things than these.” This must always be our expectation, to see greater things. We should always strive to have firsthand experiences, by hearing Philip within us saying, “Come and see.”
Judas: Judas represents the generative, reproductive energy within us which can work in a positive or negative way. Judas is said to be the Greek version of the Hebrew name Judah which means ‘praise Jehovah’.
And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, "This time I will praise the LORD"; therefore she called his name Judah; then she ceased bearing. Gen 29:35.
The reproductive force within us is motivated by conservation; survival of the species. Judas is also associated with betrayal, however, the word ‘betray’ also means to ‘reveal’. Judas gives us the opportunity to act in a higher way.
“There are two sides to the Judas energy within us. He can assist us or assail us. Mostly he works within us without our knowing. It is up to us to become conscious of what he is doing. Jesus was.” Twelve Disciples byKristina Kaine 
Thomas: Thomas represents reasoning, understanding. Thomas’ central role in some of the Bible stories alerts us to the imperative of reasoning. He doesn’t take things at face value, he wants to understand and experience things fully. His questioning can be described as a lack of faith or disbelief, however, blind faith is like a blind person crossing a busy road alone.

The Thomas in us continually tests the facts from every side to reach a full understanding. Generally people do not do this, they stop at the first understanding that meets with their satisfaction which is usually only a fraction of the truth. This is lazy - taking the easy way out so we have instant answers and don’t have to put in much effort. What is not realized is that the effort we put in awakens our consciousness. We don’t need to find the ultimate truth, or have it given to us by others, what we need to do is to strive.

First published on Huffington Post

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Disciples as Mind Traits 2


Jesus Sent Them Out Two by Two by James Tissot

The road from disciple to apostle has one purpose; to open us up to the experience of our Higher Self referred to in the Bible as ego eimi, I Am. If we speak these two words, “I AM” out aloud and imagine standing in the Universe, beyond the idea of time and space, we get a sense of this eternal state of being. Yesterday, today and tomorrow open up to us as one place. In this way, we claim our own individuality without the weight of opinions and the ideas of society. Try it, it is refreshing. When we come back to the here and now our outlook has changed. It is from this perspective that we can view the disciples.
We can imagine their incredible journey with Jesus - the one who experienced his I Am first - and stand in their shoes as they approach their own I Am from their unique perspective. This was not without trepidation as we read in the Bible.
We can ask what it was like for John, Thaddaeus or Matthew as they journeyed through the Middle East with Jesus as he challenged the status quo. Each one experienced it through the qualities given to them by their name.
As previously suggested, while the disciples represent qualities in our mind or consciousness, they also represent the different paths that we each take as we strive to connect to the highest, purest human condition, our I Am. At this stage in the evolution of consciousness, we are about halfway there. As with all things, some are a little ahead, some are a little behind. This does not mean we can pass judgement on others, it simply means they are taking a different path.

Disciples John, Thaddaeus and Matthew

John: The name John means ‘the grace of the Lord’ and he represents love and grace. This love is agape, one of four main Greek words for love. Agape is the highest love, it loves everyone equally; it does not favour family over friends and acquaintances nor does it favour one’s own culture over another.
In its highest expression, love is objective. It does not see through the eyes of judgement, but understands human behaviour as a developmental process we all go through. This love is not biased and it does not take offence. It is a kind and understanding witness, always recognising the pure human seed within each human being. Then, seamlessly this love fertilises the seed in the other person opening it to its inner potential. From this comes the expression of grace.
Grace is that capacity in our soul for doing what is right, what is good, out of our inner self, not through externally imposed rules and regulations. Grace says, “How can I be so that you can be free.” Charis is the Greek word for grace - which reveals the word charismatic. This is when love shines from us in an inspiring way. Other people want to become like us and they do this of their own accord, not because we give them advice about how they should be.
Thaddaeus: Thaddaeus represents elimination, letting go of things so that we can keep moving forward. The name Thaddaeus means ‘of the heart’, big-hearted, warm-hearted. The disciple Thaddaeus is also known as St Jude and was a brother of St James the Less, and a relative of Jesus. It is the heart which can eliminate things that mesmerise the mind. Thaddaeus within us works continuously to restore harmony by eliminating that which disrupts. This is tied to forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not so much about covering up what we feel, but stepping over it and moving on. To assist this, we could work with John and adopt some love and grace.
Matthew: Matthew represents our will - human intentions and actions. Matthew collected taxes. He works in the depths of the community to sustain the body - the infrastructure - of society. He was called away from that to serve in the innermost circle so that human will could become freewill. The other thing about will is that it reveals ourselves to us. Our acts of will, when, for example, we dig the garden or rearrange the furniture, give us a glimpse of ourselves, of our ability and place in the world.

As separate paths, or working in conjunction with one of the other disciple-paths, we can find our way to our Higher Self. Using the disciples to become more aware of our character and qualities, and the particular path we are on, is the ancient recipe for personal development untainted by modern fads that often accentuate the self over others. This is the ego trying to displace the I Am - feeling threatened by it actually. By accepting our own path, and remaining open to the path of others, the whole human race will climb the mountain with more certainty and security.

You can read more about the disciples in my book

First published on Huffington Post

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Why Twelve Disciples?


The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew, ca. 1308-11 by Duccio

The Bible clearly states that there were many more disciples than 12. Luke gives one example of this.
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. Luke 10:1
In the Bible we find two different words to describe these close companions of Christ Jesus; disciple and apostle. In Luke 10, the word ‘sent’ is apostello or apostle. Is there a difference between a disciple and an apostle? If we look at the ancient meaning of these two words, we see that they are two different aspects of the same person.

The Greek word apostello comes from apo which means ‘of separation’; and stello, meaning to set in order or arrange. It speaks of getting ready for something new, preparing for something separate from the way it used to be. In addition, the word stello comes from histemi which means to cause or make to stand. The thing that causes every human being to stand on two feet is the I Am, setting us apart from animals. This could mean that the apostle is the one who now stands on his/her own two feet.

Disciple in Greek is mathetes, which means more than the basic interpretation of ‘thoughtful learner’; it means the learner who uses the principles of mathematics to understand the truth. This may sound weird but if we think about it, it makes sense. It is referring to using the principles of mathematics to test the truth, to ensure things always add up. There is a special word for this which has been used in secret societies down the ages which is mathesis - and we can see the word ‘maths’ in these two words. Therefore, we can say the mathetes mathesis - disciples understanding truth. This, of course, is a continual process of testing and re-testing as we do in mathematics to ensure things always add up.

This brings us to the question: why does the Bible focus on 12 disciples, and why does it mention that there were more than 12?

I would like to suggest that the disciples represent certain human characteristics, I have written about this previously in my book The Twelve Disciples in the Gospel of St John [link]. The meaning of their names explains their nature and in this way shows us different aspects of our own character which we need to develop. The disciple in us, mathetes, is the one who learns and the way we learn is through thinking accompanied by endeavour. Most thinking today is not accompanied by endeavour. In fact, many people are very lazy with their thinking, which is why they never fully understand this world – or themselves.

Not only do the 12 disciples represent 12 different characteristics they also represent 12 ways to understand or approach spiritual truth. This could mean that one person approaches spiritual truth in the Andrew way, while another approaches it in the Phillip way. It is said that there are 12 paths up the mountain.
Now we will look at the nature of the 12 disciples who followed Jesus. We can observe these qualities in ourselves throughout the day to see how they work in our consciousness. We can also identify our own approach to truth.

Disciples Andrew, Simon Peter and Phillip

Andrew: In the Gospel of St John references to Andrew reveal that he works away in the background; he is a companion. Andrew represents strength of mind and humility; therefore, these two faculties must always be our companions working away in the background. Andrew is from Bethsaida, a fishing town. Fish represent our thoughts, our ideas, our concepts, and so Andrew comes from a place where ideas and concepts are caught.
Simon Peter: Simon means hearing and Peter means faith. He captures the essence of our ability to hear and see beyond the physical sounds and images that meet our senses. The Simon nature becomes active when we deeply contemplate something and a new understanding seems to speak from within us like an inner voice. This is the true nature of inspiration; we hear the new idea. The Peter nature means that our faith becomes knowing, rather than blind faith. We are able to confirm our inspirations again and again in our contemplations. Here we can see mathesis at work.
Phillip: The name Philip means lover of horses just as the word philosopher means lover of wisdom. Philip speaks to us about inner power, courage, and an ability to weigh things up. Philip is the challenge within us to use our mind purely intellectually or to allow in a spiritual element that doesn’t rely so much on physical proof but can certainly be tested over and over again in our thinking.
The use of the term spiritual does not mean something airy-fairy. By spiritual is meant something that can’t be physically touched, for example, love is spiritual, a hug or kiss is physical. This points to a notion that behind everything physically present in this world is something spiritual just as love sits behind a hug or a kiss. If we look for the spiritual component behind all that is physical in our lives a whole new world opens up to us.

The disciple in us develops in an intimate way before it expresses itself in the world as the apostle - the one sent. This is not evangelical, converting others. Why do some people focus on converting others when the whole idea is to focus on converting ourselves? When we do this with success others witness what we have done as an example of what they can do.

By working out the unique ways in which we tread our own path, we can be more accepting of the ways in which others tread theirs.

First published in Huffington Post

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Have you seen Christ Jesus? Did it happen like this?



Blue Angel By Charles Andrade http://www.lazure.com/

Why is the Christ Being so misunderstood? Perhaps people are frightened of the idea that one great Cosmic Being is within us and around seeking to unite us all in a community of loving individuals. Is this picture too big for us to comprehend? Do we actually prefer to stay in small cliques of agreeable people and ostracize anyone who disrupts the status quo? Jesus tells the people here to go to Galilee, the place of mixed races and creeds.

Then, many people will speak about God, out there somewhere, who they can pray to when they experience difficulties. But even then they want to compartmentalize this God and tie him to different belief systems.

Should we be concerned with all this unbelief? For that is what it is, we can’t call it belief because there are so many things people can’t believe in. Not to mention all the work-arounds to make ideas comfortable. Let’s have a look at what St Matthew writes about the Risen Christ.

And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Hail!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers and said, "Tell people, 'His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.' And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. Mt 28:9-15

Behold, idou, has a special meaning indicating an all-encompassing perception. You see and know everything about what you are seeing.

Jesus met them; met is hypantao, which means a confrontation. It suggests a certain level of force - not a friendly force but an opposing force. This opposing force is the etheric life-force in all living things. In our bodies it is the force that opposes the decay of our physical substance. When this force loses its principle of opposition, our physical bodies die.

Since Jesus’ body has disappeared, it is from this force that Jesus said, “Hail.” Hail is chairo, which also means rejoice. Using our imagination we can see a mighty spiritual being, an imposing and frightening etheric figure greeting the people in a way that draws them to him - drawn in the way we are drawn to nature. Nature is especially etheric.

“And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.” “They came up” is proserchomai; pros means moving towards, and erchomi is a very specific word which means to come from one place to another, to change position, not just physically. This suggests that these people entered into a spiritual connection with Jesus. As they physically stand there, they spiritually connect with him.

“Took hold of”, is krateo, which means to have power, and refers to the Spiritual Hierarchy of Exousiai, named Elohim in the Hebrew language, or Powers. These are the Creator Gods from Genesis who created this physical world and, as intermediaries, hold and herald the power of the Cosmic Christ.

Feet podas could mean just that part of him which was approachable from the lower etheric levels. It is interesting that they were not warned not to touch him as Mary was in St John’s Gospel” Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me” in 20:17. Perhaps enough time had passed that this mighty etheric presence was anchored in the spiritual world and supported by all the beings in the Spiritual Hierarchy.
Of course they worshiped him. Worshiped is proskyneo, and means ‘to kiss towards’ and indicates reverence.

We are left with the impression of an extremely powerful event. One in which we are shaken free of our earthly body enabling us to be present in our etheric body and there to meet the Risen Christ. It would be frightening; it would feel like the ground beneath our feet has fallen away. Yet we don’t feel unsupported, we replace our feet with his, we “take hold of his feet” giving us a feeling of security and reverence.

This is a description of what will happen to us when we perceive the living Christ. Of course we will be shaken. It will be like no other experience we have ever had. The physical world in which we have been living will lose its value - or at least the value we have given it. We will now see it for what it is; a stage in the process of standing in our own I Am.

When we perceive the living Christ we will be stirred to reverence and we will be called to act - “go to Galilee”. This is because Christ is not to be found in the church, he is in the world and he disturbs us.

“Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” ‘Go and tell’ really says “take word” apangello; apo, means a state of separation, and angelos, means angels, messengers. This supports the idea that this is a spiritual event. “There they will see” where ‘see’ is horao which means to see what appears. What appears is the etheric Christ, divested of his physical substance, and they will see him.

What takes place between the guard, the chief priests, the elders and soldiers is the perfect description of today’s society. The truth is silenced and money is elevated to a Christ-like position. Nothing is more valuable in the world today, or more worshipped than money. Lies are told to support this position which prevents us from seeing the etheric presence of Christ who is waiting for us to reach up and to hold his feet with reverence. From the soon to be published Vol 6 in the series Who is Jesus : What is Christ 

First published on Huffington Post

Have you seen Christ Jesus? Did it happen like this?



Blue Angel By Charles Andrade http://www.lazure.com/

Why is the Christ Being so misunderstood? Perhaps people are frightened of the idea that one great Cosmic Being is within us and around seeking to unite us all in a community of loving individuals. Is this picture too big for us to comprehend? Do we actually prefer to stay in small cliques of agreeable people and ostracize anyone who disrupts the status quo? Jesus tells the people here to go to Galilee, the place of mixed races and creeds.

Then, many people will speak about God, out there somewhere, who they can pray to when they experience difficulties. But even then they want to compartmentalize this God and tie him to different belief systems.

Should we be concerned with all this unbelief? For that is what it is, we can’t call it belief because there are so many things people can’t believe in. Not to mention all the work-arounds to make ideas comfortable. Let’s have a look at what St Matthew writes about the Risen Christ.

And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Hail!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers and said, "Tell people, 'His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.' And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. Mt 28:9-15

Behold, idou, has a special meaning indicating an all-encompassing perception. You see and know everything about what you are seeing.

Jesus met them; met is hypantao, which means a confrontation. It suggests a certain level of force - not a friendly force but an opposing force. This opposing force is the etheric life-force in all living things. In our bodies it is the force that opposes the decay of our physical substance. When this force loses its principle of opposition, our physical bodies die.

Since Jesus’ body has disappeared, it is from this force that Jesus said, “Hail.” Hail is chairo, which also means rejoice. Using our imagination we can see a mighty spiritual being, an imposing and frightening etheric figure greeting the people in a way that draws them to him - drawn in the way we are drawn to nature. Nature is especially etheric.

“And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.” “They came up” is proserchomai; pros means moving towards, and erchomi is a very specific word which means to come from one place to another, to change position, not just physically. This suggests that these people entered into a spiritual connection with Jesus. As they physically stand there, they spiritually connect with him.

“Took hold of”, is krateo, which means to have power, and refers to the Spiritual Hierarchy of Exousiai, named Elohim in the Hebrew language, or Powers. These are the Creator Gods from Genesis who created this physical world and, as intermediaries, hold and herald the power of the Cosmic Christ.

Feet podas could mean just that part of him which was approachable from the lower etheric levels. It is interesting that they were not warned not to touch him as Mary was in St John’s Gospel” Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me” in 20:17. Perhaps enough time had passed that this mighty etheric presence was anchored in the spiritual world and supported by all the beings in the Spiritual Hierarchy.
Of course they worshiped him. Worshiped is proskyneo, and means ‘to kiss towards’ and indicates reverence.

We are left with the impression of an extremely powerful event. One in which we are shaken free of our earthly body enabling us to be present in our etheric body and there to meet the Risen Christ. It would be frightening; it would feel like the ground beneath our feet has fallen away. Yet we don’t feel unsupported, we replace our feet with his, we “take hold of his feet” giving us a feeling of security and reverence.

This is a description of what will happen to us when we perceive the living Christ. Of course we will be shaken. It will be like no other experience we have ever had. The physical world in which we have been living will lose its value - or at least the value we have given it. We will now see it for what it is; a stage in the process of standing in our own I Am.

When we perceive the living Christ we will be stirred to reverence and we will be called to act - “go to Galilee”. This is because Christ is not to be found in the church, he is in the world and he disturbs us.

“Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” ‘Go and tell’ really says “take word” apangello; apo, means a state of separation, and angelos, means angels, messengers. This supports the idea that this is a spiritual event. “There they will see” where ‘see’ is horao which means to see what appears. What appears is the etheric Christ, divested of his physical substance, and they will see him.


What takes place between the guard, the chief priests, the elders and soldiers is the perfect description of today’s society. The truth is silenced and money is elevated to a Christ-like position. Nothing is more valuable in the world today, or more worshipped than money. Lies are told to support this position which prevents us from seeing the etheric presence of Christ who is waiting for us to reach up and to hold his feet with reverence. From the soon to be published Vol 6 in the series Who is Jesus : What is Christ 

First published on Huffington Post

Sunday, July 17, 2016

St John’s Tide and the Four Sacrifices of Christ


On June 24 each year, we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist. His role in the entrance of Christ into this earth is not usually given the recognition it deserves. This is perhaps because Christ’s role is far from understood. Throughout these “Bible Unlocked”  posts we have considered Christ as a mighty Cosmic being, beyond our understanding, who entered into - penetrated - the body of Jesus of Nazareth. Because Christ was such a mighty Cosmic being it took many stages of refinement and preparation before this earth could receive him. It also involved some highly developed individuals: Jesus, and equally important, John the Baptist. This is why many famous painters included John the Baptist in their paintings of Jesus. He is usually the one carrying the staff.

This mighty Cosmic Christ prepared for his earthly baptism and crucifixion over eons in the spiritual worlds through sacrificial acts. In fact, there were three preceding baptisms and sacrifices before Golgotha. The German philosopher Rudolf Steiner revealed this information, held secret in societies over the centuries, just before the start of WWI. It is likely that he spoke of it at this time because each of these sacrifices had the purpose of averting chaos. While we cannot know for sure all the details of these sacrifices, we can be open to thinking about them as we observe our own life - which is the real purpose of this knowledge.

The first sacrifice took place at the time of Adam and Eve when humanity assumed physical form for the first time. As we adjusted to occupying a physical body, we felt the separation from the Universal All. Imagine the sensation of standing on two feet - anyone who has lost the use of their legs, and then been able to stand, would understand this. Not only that, we began to experience our senses and our nervous system; they are the interface between us and the outside world. We felt this as a separation and our immediate response was to want to feel part of the whole again. This is like wanting to re-enter our mother’s womb after we are born. This pain of separation gave rise to extreme selfishness. To save humanity from this destructive situation Christ intervened and helped us to experience ourselves as individuals, replacing selfishness with selflessness.


Eons later a new selfishness arose as we began to speak. Our speech is directly related to our inner organs and metabolism, which is why when we are ill we can’t speak we just moan. The selfishness of our organs meant that they fought over the nourishment we ingested. Imagine the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs fighting over which one gets the most nutrients; when an organ becomes selfish illness results. Rudolf Steiner says, “To be ill means that an organ has become selfish and is leading its own independent life within us.” Again, Christ entered to harmonize and balance the vital organs that rendered them selfless and gave us health.

The next intervention requiring Christ’s sacrifice took place around the time of the great flood which we read about in the Bible in the story of Noah. Selfishness arose in our soul, creating disorder in our thinking, feeling and willing. In my book “I Connecting : The Soul’s Quest” I describe how these faculties work.

“It is the will element that links or separates our thoughts. Feeling always permeates our thinking when we decide to like or dislike something. We experience feeling in our will when we are satisfied or dissatisfied with something we have done. Also, will plays through our feelings to give life to our thinking. If we think of walking the dog, it is not until our intentions are fired up with the warmth of feeling for the love of the dog and its wellbeing that our thought really comes to life. Otherwise it is just a thought and the dog won’t have its walk.” I Connecting : The Soul’s Quest by Kristina Kaine 

The fourth sacrifice took place to avert the selfishness of our individuality, to prevent us from becoming self-absorbed, so that we could observe ourselves from the outside. This sacrifice began with the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan conducted by John the Baptist and enacted three and half years later on the cross at Golgotha when the blood flowed into the earth. Adriana Koulias, author of Rosicrucian Quintet  says,
“The reason people faint at the sight of blood has to do with the fact that they are observing outside them what inwardly gives them life and makes them individual, and it comes as a shock. We meet this mystery in stories and fairy tales, for instance in Sleeping Beauty when the beauty’s finger is pricked by a loom she is shocked into a deep sleep and so is the entire castle. In the story of Parzifal it is different when he sees blood fall on the snow he is shocked into wakefulness and remembers the suffering of his poor wife who he has not seen for long years. Parzifal exemplifies the new selfless consciousness. A consciousness, which is inspired by a memory of Christ who shed his blood selflessly for all humanity.”


At St John’s Tide, we can contemplate these ideas with deep gratitude for the sacrifices of the mighty Cosmic Christ who makes it possible for us to become true human beings by moving from selfishness to selflessness, still today. If we choose selfishness, we turn our back to him and play into the hands of all those forces that seek to destroy this world.

First published on Huffington Post 19 June, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The New Commandment - a prerequisite for remembering past lives.

Why don’t we remember past lives? Well, some people do, but most of us don’t - consciously at least. The reason is simple; we don’t love enough. Not just any love, but a special kind of love which Jesus spoke of when he said “love one another as I have loved you.”
Not being able to remember our past lives means that we don’t understand reincarnation and therefore don’t see it mentioned in the Bible. The main reason we don’t understand reincarnation is because we are lack awareness of our spiritual vision. Our vision is confined to what we can physically see and touch.
Yet within the physical lies spirit, spirit gives physical form and life.
When we die spirit leaves this form an empty, lifeless shell.
The best way to understand this is to contemplate the life cycle of a butterfly; compare the pupa to our body and the butterfly to our spirit.

Thank you for the great photo Learn About Nature

Watch this time lapsed video Amazing Life of a Monarch Butterfly
When we consider spirit, and the spiritual worlds, we need to think of spirit as an invisible force within us and around us - giving us life and form - not something “out there.” When we begin to traverse the boundaries of what we can see and touch, we realise that one of the most spiritual things we do in life is to love. Love is not something “out there,” it is an activity we constantly experience in one form or another. We can’t touch love, but we can see it in the expression on people’s faces and in their gestures.
Through love spirit reaches out to touch us.
Love is a complex and even mysterious feeling. It has many layers and different expressions. We can even disguise our hatred as love. In the Bible, we see how love plays out in the life of the man Jesus as he took into himself the Cosmic Christ. Even though he was berated, mocked, scorned and immobilised on a cross, he never stopped loving.
Jesus is the role model for our own journey of spiritual growth; we can apply his experiences to our inner self, within our consciousness. Our inner Jesus is that part of us that always tries to act in a higher way, that part of us yearning for purity, purity necessary before the Christ impulse will become an active part of our consciousness. This is not a straightforward process as we soon discover.
As we begin to commit to a higher expression, something within us then mocks and immobilises us. We hear an inner voice saying, “Don’t be such a goody-two-shoes, you could be bullied for that.” In this way we are mocking, scorning, and crucifying our inner Jesus.
This leaves us asking the question: how was it possible for Jesus to love so much that he could bear all that he bore on his journey to the cross? The answer tells us how we can recognise the presence of Christ in this world, in us and in each other.
The New Commandment is the answer:
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Jn 15:12

Innocence (L'innocence) - William Adolphe Bouguereau (1893)
Love is not a simple straightforward feeling; it has different expressions. The Greeks used four different words for love.
1.      Eros is erotic physical love. Eros is the Greek god of fertility. This is passionate love involving sensual desire and longing. This kind of love leads to procreative urges to ensure the survival of the species.
2.      Philia is the love arising in friendship and even in business connections. There is mutual admiration that can be supportive and nurturing but also exclusive. If the usefulness of the relationship changes, so can the relationship.
3.      Storge is the love of family, tribe and nation. It can be defensive and aggressive to those outside the group. This is the kind of love we also find in the animal kingdom.
4.      Agape is the highest love. We can call it divine love, Christ-ened love. This love is expressed by those who experience the highest in themselves - which they also see in others. It speaks of unification and intense compassion. This love is expressed without fear or favour and therefore it is not sentimental. It may not always be interpreted as love because it can cut like a sword.
In the New Commandment the word used for ‘love’ is agape, “that you agape-love one another as I have agape-loved you.” This is the only love strong enough to see our own past lives. Why? Because seeing our past lives requires agape-love to be able to deal with our karma - the consequences of our actions in a past life.
Generally, we respond to our karma by blaming the other person for what they have said or done to us. For example, if someone undermines us, we need to look for the cause in our own actions in a past life - perhaps we caused them to fall through a floor, or lose their footing somehow.
Facing our karma takes courage and it takes agape-love for self. St Paul knew this which is why he wanted to record these words for perpetuity.
“Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Gal 6:7

There are many quotes in the Bible about reincarnation, and many references to agape-love. When we truly understand the purpose of living repeated lives on this earth, we come to understand that karma is a blessing; it enables us to act in a higher way. It also enables us to experience agape-love. The higher our response to our karma, the closer we come to a true experience of Christ Jesus.