A critical factor in living a fulfilled life is the knowledge of what changes and what does not, and the difference between the two. Knowing what does not change, and being with what does not change, we are in position to allow what should move and grow and develop to do so; we are in position to allow what should dissolve to do so, and we can continue to abide in what does not change. If we do not know the distinction between what does and what does not change, or if we get it wrong, not just in the theory of it but in the living of our life, we end up trying to change things in our own experience that should not be changed. We lose our connection with the changeless and put ourselves in the position of being impacted by what should change but which is now changing us. We put ourselves in the position of not being with the unchanging but instead being beaten down by life.
What is it that does not change and does not need to change? What just is? Think about peace. While the experience of it can change in a person’s experience, does peace itself need to change? Does peace itself really grow? Does it get better? Are we aspiring to experience improved peace, or better peace? Peace doesn’t have to get better. Peace is as good as it gets. And if we know peace in our life, we know something unchanging, something that doesn’t have to get better. We could know it more fully, but peace needs no improvement.
How about love? Do you need better love in your life? I suppose it could be said we could love better; perhaps we could even be loved better. But love itself needs no improvement. Love itself is a state of being; it is a reality. It does not need improvement, development, upgrade or supersizing.
Peace and love are realities that do not change. They are part of an already-existing state of being. Our experience of them can grow; our understanding of them can change. But our experience of them, or lack of it, does not change them.
It is like that when it comes to what we speak of as God. Whatever that reality is, it does not need to change. It may be that the way people understand God has passed its sell-by date. Our conception of God may have become old and tired and no longer life-giving. The reality hasn’t changed, but the awareness of that reality may need to. The reality referred to by the word God is eternal. I love the T-shirt that says, on the front: “Nietzsche: God is dead.” On the back it says: “God: Nietzsche is dead.” If there is a God that can die, it is the God of human belief, and ultimately human imagination. Only that God can pass away.
But there is a reality that does not pass away. The source of intelligence and power for the universe is not dissolving anytime soon. We have the opportunity to be with that reality. Certainly forms come and go. The cells in our body last no longer than seven years. Some only last days. So cells come and go, but the body continues, at least for a time. If our individual physical bodies are cells in the body of humanity, then our bodies die, but the body of humanity continues and the life that is in this body of humanity continues. And in truth, the life who we are continues.
So forms come and go, but the reality of life continues. With what do we identify ourselves?
It is nearing the end of August 2012, and we are nearing the date that we celebrate in September as the anniversary of Emissaries of Divine Light. That date is September 16, and we celebrate this year as the eightieth anniversary of Emissaries of Divine Light. The initiation dates back to the life of an American, Lloyd Arthur Meeker. In 1932, during the early years of the Great Depression, he was a young man of twenty-five. He had lived, by many measures, a hard life. He did not have much of a formal education. At one time in his life he was what might have been called a hobo—he hopped freight trains. But he came to have a spiritual hunger that would not go away, and he did everything he knew to satisfy it with the knowledge that was available to him, and yet the hunger persisted. He began to offer healing to other people and some teaching, and yet still longed for a deeper answer for his life and for the world in which he lived.
On three successive nights, he had an awakening experience. He awakened to what does not change, and he became aware that what does not change was the truest thing about himself—that within him was that reality, that in fact that reality was the truth of who he was. That reality had all the answers for which he had been looking, for himself and for the world in which he lived. He died in 1954, and others carried on afterwards. In this day we carry on.
What he awoke to has not changed one iota—in fact, it never has changed. The reality that is within each person and within humanity collectively is eternal. There is a focus of spirit that is that reality within you and within me. The great lesson of spiritual awakening is to become aware of that eternal focus of spirit within oneself, to embrace it and welcome it as your reality, to give it expression in your life, to embody it, to give it to other people and to give it to your world.
Yet as wonderful as those experiences may be, of themselves, they are not enough. We all face decisions about what will change for us and what will not change. This is particularly true for someone who has awoken spiritually. The world around us seems to ask us to compromise the focus of spirit within us and do the expedient in whatever way—to decide that it would be easier, it would be more beneficial, if we changed, if we became someone and something that we are not.
But for anyone, it should be evident that you cannot change the eternal. And that is who we are. That is what cannot change. You can allow your understanding of the eternal to change, but you cannot change the eternal. You can allow your awareness to grow; you can allow your capacity and your fluidity to give expression to the eternal to change. But you cannot change the eternal, nor should you try.
So there is something more than a momentary experience that is required to live a fulfilled life, to really walk the way of love and see it all the way through. And that is, very simply, not to stop and not to compromise your embodiment of the eternal—to never surrender, in that sense, and never give in; to see the thing all the way through, uncompromisingly, knowing that there is no way that happens for anybody without the willingness to allow what should change to change, knowing that you will be transformed in the process, knowing that you will become more pure spirit than any ideas about it, more the living embodiment in life of what is eternal than someone who is just seeking those things.
We have to shed the old forms of our life as it unfolds. One way or another, we leave behind friends and places and activities. We shed forms as needed, just as we shed cells. Ultimately, we shed our entire human form. But when we devote ourselves to manifesting the eternal focus of spirit within us, when we place ourselves on the altar of life and commit ourselves to embodying the focus of spirit within us, there is a lot that changes, but we are what does not change.
The eternal reality within us is called spiritual focus for a reason. All of creation revolves around that reality. When the eternal lands on earth through a person, they bring a focus for creation. Processes of change are set in motion. The processes of building and development are set in motion, and so are the processes of dissolution. Usually people are up for the new and they find it a little scary when things dissolve, when what used to be is no longer there, when they lose a friend, when they change locations, when the pattern of things changes around them. If we are going to embody the unchanging in the middle of that, we have to be up for it all. We have to say, in essence, “I embrace what doesn’t change. I’m up for being here, present, unchanging in the middle of the change. I’m up for that adventure.”