IS IT BY GRACE?
"Beyond the shadow of any doubt I have come to understand that the "me sense" is without reality or substance. This is understood beyond the shadow of any doubt. And further I understand first hand how the "me sense" is actually affirmed, extended, puffed up by what we refer to as "the spiritual search". There is no path. There is no pilgrim. No search. No searcher. This is clear. Still the transformation that you speak of in the passage I have quoted above has not come to this Life. How foolish this next question is but I know of no other way to ask it...What precipitates this expansion of the senses. Is it by Grace alone that it comes?
Please feel free to be as verbose as you wish!
Thank you so much for your comments and question. I am delighted that you are availing yourself to the resources on the Website and hope you will continue to explore the depths of wisdom that are an inevitable response to the hunger that is within you. Your question is of course not foolish but I understand how difficult it is to articulate impulses and desires that seem deeper than words. In fact, the experience of that difficulty itself is an indication that your extended spiritual senses are already evolving. Most of what people communicate with regard to spiritual truth is conceptual through the agency of words. I’m sure you’ve already realized that there is no concept which embodies truth, as your comments reflect the understanding that seeking for such is an exercise in futility. Truth is “being”, which is ultimately inexpressible in words alone and is best understood as the expression of love. I really enjoyed your question, and hope that the response, limited as it is by words, will somehow point to truth which You are. To borrow from an enlightened individual whose name escapes me, to search for truth is like using a candle to search for fire. The truth that we have all been searching for is indeed the truth that animates our very existence. Jesus said it this way: “The Kingdom of God is within you”. The Christ in you and as you is the hope of all Glory. With this in mind, I will tell you a short story which I hope you will find helpful.
During my twenty years as a pastor in a small church in south Florida, I considered myself to be on the cutting edge of what God was doing in the earth. Every week I preached “life-changing” messages to spiritually hungry people, and I was thoroughly convinced that if my current application of the scriptures were followed, great blessing and fruitfulness would follow. Needless to say, the actual results were pitiful. People became like me, full of the knowledge of concept, but void of the power that testified of a life energized with God. After so many years of attending seminars, conferences and not to mention countless hours listening to tapes and reading, I had to face the fact that what I was doing was not working. But, as, I have since come to understand, disillusionment with the present state, can become a catalyst for the greatest time of awakening. As God began to bring fresh dimensions of understanding into my life through teachers like Walter Lanyon and William Samuels, I became very resentful of the time I had seemingly wasted I in the hallowed halls of religion. I felt like I was starting all over again. I remember reading a book by Eckhart Tolle called the “Power of Now” where he spoke of allowing the watcher ( what I would have called the spirit man) to watch the selfish, fearful, neurotic activity of the ego (carnal mind’s idea of self). In doing so, one would identify with the watcher and not the ego. I’d been trying to do that for years, but it never dawned on me that the “spirit” WAS my true identity. I really was the Watcher, not the egoic knucklehead that had traded an egoic “sinner” identity of a more respectable, but equally egoic, “pastor” identity. Through some process which I didn’t understand, I was being re-identified, not as a new person, but as an expression of the One Life which is being all life. I was finally beginning to understand what Jesus meant when He said, unless a man loose his life, he will not find it. I was loosing the “me sense” that you spoke of. The greatest discovery that was made during this time was that the real changes in the expressions of or fruitfulness of life did not follow any new revelation or belief system, but instead was associated with a realigned identity. Instead of the futility of telling myself I needed to walk in love after being abused by someone, I could simply watch any egoic reaction as the Watcher, and the reaction would begin to dissipate like so many ice cubes melting. It was, after all, the constant living in the egoic identity that lead to such scarcity of abundant life. I have found that the expansion of the senses follows effortlessly upon the heals of an increasing abiding in the true identity which can be called the Christ nature. If you truly see yourself first as the embodied living expression of Christ, one of many, yet all in ONE, then little by little, like lotus blossoms, that true nature begins to appear. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
Then one day when I wasn’t expecting it, there came a wonderful sense of freedom concerning my years in religion. I realized that not one day had been wasted. I could have never appreciated the distinction between the separated religious identity of the past and the joy of knowing that I and my Father are One.
I have accepted your liberty to be verbose, and I hope that somewhere within the lines you will hear the overtone of that One life which You are. While ultimately there is no path for anyone to follow, the paradox is that within time, there are apparent seasons of growth, discovery, maturity and fruitfulness. The impulses of that dynamic movement are deep within the Source of All Wisdom and while they may seem to be the result of our personal actions from time to time, I have somehow lost the “me” who could initiate such brilliance. Call it Grace, or Love, or Divine Destiny, they are just words that somehow try to convey the motivation and power of this flow of Life in the realm of manifestation.
Whatever word you choose, the incorruptible seed of Christ is who You truly are, and that seed will bear fruit, not through effort and strain, but in the stillness and confidence of a heart that has surrendered its independent identity and is content as the radiance of God.