Monday, November 21, 2016

Disciples as Mind Traits 3


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