Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
My spirit and soul were really moved this week with the inauguration of Barack Obama. I was taken back to forty years ago when I was about fifteen years old. Martin Luther King and a great number of others marched on Washington, and the nation was watching. I remember that time very well, because the African-American people were under a little pressure. When Dr. King got up and spoke his words, I don’t think I’d ever heard anyone speak like that before. I don’t think I had heard the spirit of truth so clearly before that time, a truth that related to my family and myself, and to everyone else. It wasn’t just a call to African-American people. It was a call that resonated with a great many people. He watered a seed in the consciousness of this nation, which had been planted much earlier by the Founding Fathers. But there were certain aspects of it that hadn’t truly fulfilled themselves, and Martin Luther King was reminding us of that great promise of his dream of wholeness.
And so this week, when Barack Obama and the nation gathered for his inauguration, it had seemed as if that seed, which had been dormant in the ground, had gathered substance to it in these forty years and had changed and blossomed into something really wonderful. Here was clear evidence that we, as a nation, had not judged according to the color of this man’s skin but by the quality of character that he has shown. We call him “the first African-American president.” His mother is white. You know, in this country, they say if you have one drop of black blood, you’re black. But the reality is that he’s biracial; so, from a racial standpoint, both black and white can lay claim to him. And certainly, who we are transcends race, so from a spiritual standpoint we can all celebrate whatever is true and right that comes through this man. People around the world are rejoicing because they feel they have a mouthpiece—they have someone who represents the wholeness of life, and a table where everyone can come and sit. There’s a new promise, a new opportunity. We’ve all been resonating with that this week, and my heart is just pumping to be able to stand up here and speak about this.
I am not speaking this morning to advocate the politics of Barack Obama. But I do want to acknowledge a significant spiritual event in the life of this nation and in the life of this world. This man’s spirit and attitude reminds us of the one spirit, the one life. And that’s really what I want to speak about this morning: this one spirit. Last week David Karchere spoke about the earth being alive, and that is my gospel if I ever had one. In my reality, the earth is alive, and everything in it partakes of one life. And the illusion is that there are separate lives.
I’d like to read something from the Bible, which points to this for me.
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22,23)
You can look at that in a lot of different ways. This morning I’m speaking to it from the standpoint of “I.” Whenever we say “I,” who is it that is speaking? Are there separate “I’s”? That’s the question I want to pose this morning. I’m saying there is one. There is one I Am—just one. What happens in consciousness when we go to that place: just one I Am? And “I Am That I Am.” That’s the one.
“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
“And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord….
“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
“To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
“To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
“But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man…as he will.
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
“For the body is not one member, but many.
“If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
“And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
“If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
“And if they were all one member, where were the body?
“But now are they many members, yet but one body.
“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
“Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
“And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour….
“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” (1 Corinthians 12:4,5,8-23,25)
One life. Jesus referred to himself as being the vine that had many branches, and that if any branch were severed from the vine it would have no life. He was representing this one I Am, this one life. You know, when you think of a tree growing, before the seed falls into the ground, the life in the seed is the same life that’s in the tree. It’s the same life. When the seed falls to the ground, it’s still the same life. A root sprouts out, and then another tree grows up. It’s the same life; there’s only one.
When Moses had his awakening—”I Am That I Am”—his ministry was to bring that consciousness to the people he was leading. At the end of his time with them, he knew that he couldn’t take them into the Promised Land. That’s something they had to do for themselves. They had to go there. Each individual has to come to that awakening on their own. Even Jesus said to his disciples, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you….” (John 16:7) The comforter: that which provides you with the ultimate comfort, full peace, fulfillment of your destiny. Then he said, “Tarry in this place, until it is fully come.” Let that spirit fully emerge in your consciousness.
I’m speaking about this this morning because I can’t speak about anything else. I really can’t. It’s this one spirit, this one I Am—I Am That I Am. Various statements had new meaning when I looked at them from this perspective of oneness—statements like “I will be with thee to the end of the earth.” If our identity is in that “I,” there really is no death in that sense. We see ourselves manifested in our children and in all things in the movement of Life. From the beginning to the end, alpha and omega, it’s one continuous stream of life, moving through form, manifesting human beings. And yet our consciousness has been in this place of separation, where we’ve thought there were two forces at work. There’s only one life, the Christ spirit, manifesting through all.
It always puzzled me when Jesus made the statement: “He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:39) What was he talking about? He’s saying lose your identity into this one life, this one spirit, the one I Am, and let that consciousness grow while you are alive. Don’t die in the other consciousness. That’s what I understand that to mean. It’s not our life anyway, in the true sense; it’s not ours. We say “my life.” It’s not our life; we are life. That’s the truth of it. We are life—it’s not ours. We partake of it. It is us.
There is one life, one spirit, one substance, one law, one identity. I am that I am.