Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
It seems like a dodgy proposition to allow our lives to be filled with what comes through our hearts. For most of us, we know something about our own heart and the hearts of other people, and what can move through them. It’s not always pretty and not always dependable. The idea that this should be a central part of how we live certainly seems like a dodgy proposition, to say the least.
I’d like to take a step further and say that we may see God as the ultimate reality of who we are, in fact the most real thing about us. The word “God” is a useful label to put on something that is hard to name or describe. What is the real name of God, for you or for me? We say it is “I Am.” I Am. We’ve considered before that God is a point of position with no magnitude, or at least no worldly magnitude. Whatever that invisible reality is, it may become visible in the world. But the essence and core of who we are, and of all things, is a point of position with no magnitude. It is invisible.
We could say “I am” many things. I am so many years old, I am so tall, I am a carpenter or a lawyer. But at the essence and core of who we are, we can simply say “I Am” without qualification. We become many things in expression, but who we are at our core is, as has been said, a point of position with no worldly magnitude.
Another way to say that is that we’re not really of this world. When you go looking for who you are, your real essence, it gets smaller and smaller, because almost anything you could identify is something that we become or something that we express. It’s our way of being in the world, but it isn’t the core of who we are. Another way to say that is that the very core of who we are is very, very small. Living a life of freedom is all about coming to that very, very small place, that place of position but no magnitude, that place that doesn’t even seem to be present.
That, too, seems to be a pretty dodgy proposition because, in order to come to that place, we have to let go of all our ways of being in the world, all our modes of expression with which we identify ourselves—even all our feelings, and certainly all our thoughts and all our great ideas, and all our self-image. You cannot be free in a self-image, and you cannot be free living from belief. You cannot be free living from a pattern of feeling that you decide is who you are.
To be free, you and I, like anybody, must come to a place of being as nothing in our own eyes. Living from that place of what seems to be nothingness, that place which is not of this world, where we can say “I Am” without qualification, we are free. We are free to create; we are free to be in the world in a way that expresses who we are.
So this seems to be a very dodgy, suspicious proposition that we have to bring to the world: that we could live our lives from a point which seems to be nothing and we could perceive and express who we are through a feeling realm that has certainly betrayed most people terribly. That’s a tough sell for anybody, I would think! There seem to be so many more dependable ways to live a life. There are ideological ways, ways of religious belief, political ways, and certainly economic ways. Living from an invisible place, and perceiving and expressing ourselves through our feeling realm, seems like an awfully undependable way to earn a living! Certainly we can find a more effective way to live than that!
If we are being ourselves, coming to a place of what seems to be nothing and expressing what comes out of that nothingness into our world, what is the first range of creation for us? It is love in its many colors and guises. It is love for the people around us and love for ourselves, love for what emerges from the very core of being.
So how does that sound to you? The proposition is to build a world out of love and from love. As fanciful as that might sound, if we really think about it, is there any other way for you to live a life that might be fulfilling other than to build your world out of love? I can’t think of one. I can’t think of any other kind of success that would have any meaning to me. I can’t think of any amount of money or worldly prosperity or fame, or even accomplishment, that would mean anything to me if it weren’t built out of love.
There are many virtues of the human mind. But it tends to deceive people in this matter. The deception is something like this: “It’s impossible to be yourself, and if you were, you might get creamed anyway. You are insubstantial. And you are a bad person.” In short, that is the rap that often comes from the world of the mind, which says that you can’t be yourself, and even if you could it might not be a good idea. The mind’s deception about the realm of feeling often goes like this: “Your feelings are undependable and will only betray you, so you’d better cut them off. And if you try to build a life out of love, you will be hurt, you will be powerless and ineffective.”
Having discredited the way things really work, the mind goes on to present its wonderful solution, with its own faulty reasoning: “Because being yourself and connecting to what is real through your feelings doesn’t work, you’ve got to have a great idea about how you can compensate for the lack of all that. You have to construct a world that will satisfy you. You can be a great administrator of your world and get it all in order and get it all to work the way you want. You may need to do a little manipulation and maybe a little trickery. You may need to get people on your side. You may also need to have a brilliant idea, or a brilliant scheme to create a satisfying life.”
Do you find that your own mental process tells you these things, perhaps aided by the people around you? I have certainly heard them from my own thought processes, and I have certainly heard them from other people. I’ve called it a deceit because I believe it is. For every person, their world is being created by their love or lack thereof. Whatever they think is happening, whatever their schemes are, what’s really happening is they’re creating a world out of love or out of the lack of it, and they’re living with the consequences constantly. I believe I am living with the consequences of that, constantly.
It is very hard to create anything without love, maybe impossible. And as much as we may look around in the world and we see things being accomplished that look to us to be glitzy and attractive, and we think that it’s being accomplished because of brilliant ideas, if there is anything of substance being created it is being created out of love. Brilliant ideas have a part to play in what gets accomplished, but if there is anything accomplished there’s love in the picture somehow. There’s love between people. And what is happening is because of love, not in spite of it.
So the deception is the belief that you can build without love, because nothing happens without love, really. And even if you could build without love, you wouldn’t be happy with what you have built.
There are brilliant ideas that spring from love. Where there are people who share love and friendship, it can be exciting and creative to be together. There are ideas that spring out of our love that are real ideas. These are the ideas that have merit, that have promise in your life. They are not the wild, scheming ideas. These are the ideas that are born out of love. They appear in our mind, bathed in gold. They smack of love’s possibility. They smack of more love, not necessarily more money, not necessarily more human accomplishment and fame. They are also not based in the great deceit that you can’t be yourself, that what’s happening in the heart doesn’t matter, and that if you love, you will be weak and powerless. Exactly the opposite: great ideas spring from these things.
Here are a few verses from Psalm 24:
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? (Psalm 24:3)
So what is the hill of the Lord? I don’t think the Psalm refers to a physical place. I don’t think there’s a certain hill out there in Palestine or the Sinai or someplace else that is the hill of the Lord. In many spiritual teachings, a hill or mountain is a symbol for the spiritual path. So is this not a description of what it means for you or for me to come to the place of true identity, where we can say, “I Am,” where we come to know that the reality of who we are is the lord of our being and of our world?
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
His place where love rules supreme; His holy place, where the world is being created out of love.
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psalm 24:4,5)
Here is a description of what must be traversed for someone to come into the holy place of their own being. Clean hands—action that is right action for right action’s sake; not manipulative action, not action out of weakness, but action out of love.
He that hath clean hands and a pure heart.
Could you or I be happy, truly, in life without attention to what’s happening in our heart and letting that be pure and clear?
The Psalm speaks of vanity. What is vanity? There is physical vanity—we sometimes accuse women of being vain about their looks; men too. I think there’s another kind of vanity, which is mental. Mental vanity goes like this: “I will make up for not being myself in my world and revealing myself to the world and not being a loving person, by manipulation and by my great ideas.” Isn’t that the vanity of the mind? Vanity of the mind has to be left behind for anyone who would “ascend into the hill of the Lord,” as it’s put here. It must be left behind by anyone who would come into a place of freedom.
So how about for us individually and us collectively? You could consider whatever collective you participate in, whether it’s Sunrise Ranch or the Emissaries, or your family, your community, where you work, or the nation. What’s the way to go? The deceit is that the truth is off the table. You’re not going to be yourself, and if you were it’s not going to matter. And what comes from your heart, the spirit of love that comes through you, that’s not going to do it. You are going to have to make up for the lack of those things with your great ideas and hard work.
The human mind is good for many things, but on its own it is not very good at letting the things of life, the things of being, be known and understood. To the mind, it can seem like a very unsure bet to build from love, when exactly the opposite is true: It is the only sure bet. Love never faileth—never.
When we think and act out of love, we end up being truly intelligent. In our world today we have many experts who are sounding intelligent; they’re dressed up to look intelligent. But they may not actually be delivering the goods, if you look carefully.
That may be symbolic of our own thinking capacity. Outside of love we get very stupid—we do stupid things. Everybody does stupid things outside of love. Where our thinking and our acting is born out of love, we become truly wise.