We might have a belief in heaven or a hereafter—or a belief in hell, for that matter. Or we could disbelieve any such concept. But what do we actually know firsthand? That is what is most interesting to me.
We are told that politics and religion do not make for polite dinner conversation. And, given that the politics in America are becoming more and more fractious, it is more and more difficult to have an intelligent discussion about it here.
Religion seeks to address the core existential factors of our lives. And yet, how possible is it to have a creative conversation with another person around those fundamental factors without offending someone or making them think poorly of you?
Writing for this blog, I am aware of the set ideas and prejudices people tend to hold on to. And I seek to open up a dialogue without offending too many people to the point that they won’t engage in the exchange. But, of course, there is always someone who will be offended by almost anything significant I might say, so at some point, I just have to go for it. Without that, how do I share my firsthand experience? And how do I invite you to share yours?
There are so many areas of our life that the institutions of our culture claim. I have named two: politics and religion. The Church thinks it owns heaven and whether or not people can get in. And various political parties think they own the truth of our politics. They decide who is “woke,” who is “progressive,” who is a true American, who deserves to vote, etc.
But it is not only religious and political institutions that lay claim to the truth based on their beliefs. The institution of modern science sets forth what it claims to be the truth from its perspective. It develops theories and creates scientific models. Scientists name elements of the physical world, sometimes after themselves. And so, they claim the truth of those things; and if we are unaware, we might concede the truth of the reality that we are living to science.
Can’t we be grateful for all that science offers to our lives without allowing it to lay its ultimate claim on the reality in which we are living? For instance, I am grateful for the assistance that medical science can bring to my physical health. But does a medical doctor really know my body better than I do?
Science discovered Sagittarius A* at the center of the Milky Way galaxy and called it a supermassive black hole. Sounds ominous, does it not? And yet there is a reality at the center of our galaxy, and we are circling it. We have a relationship with it.
The Milky Way galaxy is in the shape of the torus, swirling around Sagittarius A*.
Scientists tell us that this supermassive black hole has tremendous gravity. Do you think you and I can tune in to that reality, whatever it is, and have a firsthand experience of it? It is not so farfetched. Astrologers tell us that we have a relationship with the movement of celestial bodies and that what is transpiring in our lives follows that movement. The ancients had a relationship with celestial bodies. Don’t we?
In the Pulse of Spirit last week, I suggested that in the structure of reality, including our own individual reality, there is what scientists name as a black hole at the core. There is a massive gravitational force at the center of us, around which our human world revolves. There is a portal as well, just as there is a portal in a black hole in space.
I have friends who put on events and host a website they call Portal to Ascension. I am not sure what they have in mind when they talk about a Portal to Ascension. It could imply many things. Perhaps we will be abducted by aliens and ascend into space. Whatever ideas a person might have about it, the name is intriguing.
There are many names for this portal, called a black hole by science. In the Book of Job—perhaps the oldest book in the Bible, one that seems to have little relationship to the rest of the biblical story—the Lord speaks to Job out of the whirlwind. Hmm, whirlwind… The Milky Way galaxy is something of a whirlwind, is it not? A torus, whirling around its center.
Out of the whirlwind. I think we envision the voice as coming from the center of the whirlwind. Could that be the portal to ascension, the black hole at the core of Job’s experience and at the heart of all people? Even at the core of all humanity?
The prophet, Malachi, says this:
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:10)
Windows of heaven? Sounds like a portal to ascension to me. Here is a picture of substance brought into the portal, something ascending through the portal into the dwelling place of the Divine. And where does the Divine live? In heaven.
Through the prophet Malachi, the Divine is asking human beings to bring that substance deliberately. The portal to ascension has gravitational drawing power. It has the ability to draw up into ascension the substance of human experience. That is what lifts human experience. We cannot do that in our own human strength, even though this process of ascension takes our conscious participation.
Of course, the Church made hay out of this verse, interpreting it as telling people to bring the Church your money—tithes. Possibly, that short circuits the larger meaning of what Malachi wrote.
Bring the substance of your life into the portal. Not the whole thing, unless you are ready to get totally sucked up into heaven right now. While we are here on earth, there is substance ascending. Matter is transforming into energy. And energy is becoming consciousness at higher and higher levels. We might know, from firsthand experience, that we have to be willing to play our part in that. We have to open ourselves consciously to that possibility. And when it happens, there is meat in the house. There is substance in heaven that was not there before.
We might think of heaven as not relying on us. After all, from the perspective of some religions, we are just poor sinners. Surely, we have nothing to offer to heaven. But according to Malachi, what is in heaven, at least as far as we are concerned, depends on what we allow to ascend into it. And when we do, there is substance in the house of heaven as it relates to us. There is the capacity for a blessing to be poured out from heaven.
Blessing for me! And yet this is the kind of blessing that is too big for me to keep to myself, and the same is true for you. There shall not be room enough to receive it. That implies that it is overflowing—not just for me. It is for the world in which I live. My cup overflows, as the Shepherd’s Psalm says. Blessing overflows from the substance of heaven when we participate in this process. Substance ascends into the portal, and power descends out of the portal into our life experience.
How do we participate in this? The only way is on a firsthand basis. We have to know it for ourselves. We have to take seriously something that is happening in our human experience that we have perhaps been ignoring. And becoming consciously aware of it, we have the opportunity to play a deliberate part in what is transpiring.
It is no substitute for firsthand experience to believe in heaven, or in what I am saying. And still, what somebody else shares can stimulate our own firsthand experience.
There is a firsthand experience for us all to have that is real, profound, and exquisitely loving. I could search for other adjectives to try to capture the wonder of it, but I will stop there.
Firsthand experience relies on our trust and faith in what we sense and know for ourselves. It requires that we suspend what the institutions of our culture have told us about what reality is, long enough to allow ourselves to participate in this creative process.
And what are the steps that are part of our conscious participation?
The more we become as nothing, the more we are filled with the presence of the Divine from out of the portal. The more we become as nothing, the easier it is to bring the substance of our living into the heavenly storehouse. When we become as nothing, we are not clinging to the substance of our life. We are no longer taking it personally. We no longer worry about our human experience, trying to improve it or criticize it. We are not ashamed of it.
We become as nothing so that what we have taken personally we let go of, so that it can ascend. It cannot ascend—through us anyway—if we cling to our health, happiness, mood, and possessions… Shall I go on? We can just let go of it all, not taking it personally, becoming as nothing, so that all of our human experience can ascend into the portal, into the whirlwind—that there can be wealth in God’s house, we might say. But we find out that it is in our house—just at higher levels of reality than we had previously experienced. Then we have the power to bring the presence of heaven. We are full of that presence.
In becoming no one, we become someone. We become who we are in reality, bringing the power, the presence, the gifts, the blessing, through the portal, allowing heaven to stream through our human experience, filling us, overflowing from us and into our world.
Shall we become as nothing today? Shall we become as no one so that we can become someone, the One who we truly are, the One who lives in heaven, on earth, allowing heaven to stream into the world?
In doing so collectively, we know our oneness. We are empowered to be a collective portal of ascension, bringing the drawing power of heaven into our world. And the more that collectively there is no one here—none of the distractions of personalized human experience obsessed with personality and ego—the more there is someone here: the collective presence of the Divine, known individually and in our oneness.
May there be that one presence on earth because of us, because of you and me. That is the big idea for us as Emissaries of Divine Light and has been from the very beginning. It is how we were made. Let us fulfill this original intention now.