The Cross of Life

We can, this very moment, enter the deeper temple and very deliberately allow whatever is disturbed, whatever is weighing us down, whatever is holding us back, to be left behind. We are in a physical temple—the physical place in which we find ourselves. The deeper temple is an already-existing state of higher vibration, which is always available to us. Coming into that place, we enter deeper levels of awareness, deeper connection and deeper knowing. We unburden ourselves mentally and emotionally in that process.

We always have the opportunity to continue our journey to a deepening and an opening in our life, so that we may receive the renewing energy of our own spirit. And our own spirit is not just our spirit but is connected to the spirit of all creation, which is the spirit of the Creator.

I recently came across a document entitled “The Non-Christian Cross: An Enquiry into the Origin and History of the Symbol Eventually Adopted as That of Our Religion.” It speaks to this connected experience. It was originally published in 1896 by John Denham Parsons. I was looking for photos and articles on the pre-Christian cross when I stumbled across this. I had been familiar with some crosses that I knew predated Christianity. One of those symbols comes from the ancient land of Lemuria, in the Pacific. It came down through history in India and was picked up by the Nazis and turned into the swastika. It is a tragedy that world culture has turned that ancient cross of life into a dreaded symbol of tyranny.

I was delighted to read the findings in this paper. It was Parsons’ view that not only did the symbol of the cross predate Christianity, but that the use of that symbol by early Christians was not a reference to an instrument of crucifixion but a symbol of life. He asserted that it was the Roman Catholic Church that turned the cross from a symbol of life to a symbol of death. Parsons questions whether the Greek word stauros, which was the word that was later translated in the New Testament as the “cross” upon which Jesus was crucified, really referred to a cross at all, and suggests that stauros may have been more accurately translated as “stake.” In addressing the true origin of the cross as a symbol of life, Parsons says this:

The figure of the cross is the simplest possible representation of that union of two bodies or two sexes or two powers or two principles, which alone produces life.

For the ancients cannot fail to have perceived that all life more immediately proceeds from the union of two principles; and the first, readiest, simplest, and most natural symbol of Life, was consequently one straight line superimposed upon another at such an angle that both could be seen; in other words, a cross of some description or other.

Parsons imagines ancient man knowing that the sun is life-giving, and that we on Planet Earth receive that life-giving energy from the sun and from the very source of life itself. He says that the cross portrays this intersection between our humanity and our life source.

How simple! How basic! Our human flesh has this intersection with the cosmic energy within it. As consciousness opens, we are opening to that cosmic energy. The energy we receive is cosmic in nature because it is, ultimately, the same power that pervades all of creation, from the atom to the stars.

That power manifests differently, depending on the scale and the form through which it appears. It manifests in a unique way in us as human beings, and there is a unique way we receive it. Even though at a lower scale of creation within us—at the level of the atoms of our body—the power of creation manifests the same way it does at an atomic level throughout creation; at the level of the whole human being, the power of creation depends on the nature of human thought and emotion. It depends on consciousness. That is why the energy field working in your body shifts and changes as you think different thoughts. The same happens for anyone. The quality of thought evokes an emotional pattern which, in turn, creates changes in the physical body and in the energy pattern of the person.

Any true spiritual practice assists a person to engage consciously in this process. If we think uplifting thoughts, our feelings become involved too and our feelings begin to open. There is a different sensation in the body. The body is being bathed in positive thought and feeling and in the energy that is then released through us.

All this relates to the cross. Consciousness is represented by the horizontal piece of the cross, and when it is being intersected by the power of the cosmos, represented by the vertical piece of the cross, that power reaches all the way down to the physical body, which is at the lower end of the vertical. How that intersection really takes place, and to what degree, depends on the quality of thought and emotion.

Realizing, at some level, that there is this pattern, many people devote themselves to a spiritual or religious practice to shift their consciousness so that they are more open to receive the vertical component in their life experience. They may call that vertical component Higher Consciousness, God, Cosmic Mind, Allah, the Tao or something else. Or they may just be seeking greater peace and well-being. At its best, such practices assist a person to shift their thinking and feeling, at least for a time. For many, that is certainly a step that helps to break the endless round of negative thinking, and then negative experience. It assists them to break a vicious cycle in which negative experience engenders negative thinking and feeling; and then the negative thinking and feeling creates more negative experience. It is self-confirming. Experience confirms consciousness and then consciousness confirms experience. This pattern reminds me of the epitaph that reads: “I told you I was sick.”

Even with whatever spiritual practice or mental practice a person employs, unless something fundamental changes it tends to be a process in which a person breaks the cycle for a moment, but there is a pull in their life that is like centrifugal force. If the vertical is the central axis of our life, through which there is a stream of cosmic wisdom and energy available to us, there is a centrifugal force that pulls a person off that axis. And they sometimes clamber back to the center as best they can, but then the minute their life starts going again, that centrifugal force is pulling them away and pulling them out of their centering at that central axis. For many of us, we are observing this happen in other people all the time, and perhaps in ourselves.

And why is that centrifugal force at work? The way that the great master teacher, Jesus, answered this question was this: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” A person’s centering is determined by their basic values and what is happening in the heart.

There is no other way to address the centrifugal force in a person’s life, because that centrifugal force is created when a person places primary value in the things that are around them and is emotionally entangled on that basis. They could be good things and they could be bad things. And the way it goes for most people is that they want good things and they don’t want the bad things. On the face of it, that is perfectly reasonable. The problem is that the fixation on those values creates distractions. Centrifugal force takes a person out of their basic centering, out of the life-giving experience portrayed by the cross of life. They are distracted by all the bad things that have happened and that could happen, and by all the good things they want to happen instead. I am putting this in very basic terms, knowing that there are all kinds of shades and variations of that experience. The power of centrifugal force comes down to the emotional involvement with likes and dislikes.

This way of living often strikes the person as eminently reasonable. The problem is that until this basic lack of centering shifts and changes permanently, we are in a pattern of, at best, taking brief visits to a “church,” by whatever name. And it doesn’t help if that church is called “meditation,” “the natural world,” or a personal development workshop.

So what is it that creates an ever-deepening experience of the life-giving spirit within us? That is the shift that is up for many people to make—from occasional visits to an experience that gives relief from the centrifugal force that is dominating their lives, to an ever-deepening experience of the life-giving spirit, so that we are not just coming into that experience and then leaving it. We are going in, deeper, and deeper, and deeper. We are opening more, and more, and more. Our life is an ascending experience. It’s not a little bit of ascension followed by a Kerchunk! and then a descending experience. It is a continually ascending, uplifting experience. And then, because of that, the spirit within us is continually descending deeper in and through us, so that it is transforming and transmuting us and is then radiating through us into expression and into our world. That is how we become a powerful influence of cosmic love.

This may sound like an ambitious proposition. But I am talking about being a powerful force of nature in your world. And while that may seem like a tall order, the alternative is that we don’t let cosmic love come all the way through; we satisfy ourselves with brief visits to the spiritual while we attend to other, more important business.

When we choose an ever-deepening experience and choose to bring universal unconditional love into our world and let it flow all the way through, we are safe. We are home. We are not in jeopardy. Whatever happens, we have decided to love unconditionally. We are going to do it for however long we are incarnate in human form, and whatever is going to happen is simply what happens. But whatever happens, we are going to be here in unconditional love. That is wholeness and fulfillment. It is fulfillment right now. This is what is portrayed by the cross of life.

David Karchere
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