Excerpt from Native Soul

Uniquely Human
The evolution of the visioning, personalizing aspect of the imagination has placed the human family in a unique position in nature. Unlike the plant and animal kingdoms, there appears to be no natural limits to the effects we can produce through the creative application of our imagination. Its usage is a subject that warrants careful consideration.

Thomas Troward, English author and lecturer who had a significant impact on the early development of mental science, made the profoundly simple observation that the human being is the only creature capable of producing ideas that do not occur spontaneously in nature. Place a lump of iron in water, he noted, and the iron sinks, an effect governed by natural law, or, as Troward called it, generic law. Fabricate that same iron into the hull of a ship and the iron will float. The iron hull, like countless other examples we could name, is a product of the human imagination, a unique combination of universal energy and personal imagery.

Though plants and animals display varying levels of intelligence and personality, they are restricted by a natural barrier in their creative ability. Troward attributed this to the animal’s inability to express anything more than generic law. Think of generic law as the expression of the Creative Life Force without any elaboration of human imagination. The lump of iron, governed by generic law, sinks in water. Introduce the influence of human imagination and the iron is able to float. Nature as a whole is an example of generic law in expression.

People often ask whether or not animals have souls. Using Troward’s model, the answer would be yes, but it is a generic soul, an archetypal set of parameters that limit the expression of intelligence and, therefore, the creative capacity of a given species. The key limiting element in the generic soul of all living things (though it is present in nearly all species in limited degrees) is the visualizing aspect of imagination.

For survival and reproductive purposes, animals depend on a pre-programmed set of responses we know as instinct. Yes, there are cases where chimpanzees fish termites from their mounds with sticks and certain birds break open ostrich eggs by bombarding them with stones. These, however, can hardly be thought of as anything more than examples of intelligence still bridled by a rudimentary imagination.

If you own a dog, you know it as an intelligent animal with a unique personality. Personable and intelligent as your dog may be, however, you can safely assume it will never be credited with a medical breakthrough, never send other dogs to Mars or develop a faster, more efficient Internet. The intelligence level of the brightest dog on the planet (yours no doubt) is primitive in comparison to that of even a below-average human. This may seem unflattering to those who insist on elevating their dogs to near-human status, but experts in canine behavior know the key to successful interaction between dog and human is to get the human to start thinking like a dog. The dog, they know, can never think like the human. The dog simply does not possess the imaginative capacity of the human.

The Generic Cap
This concept of a generic soul can explain why, in contrast to the sometimes chaotic experience we see at the human level, the natural world exists in such balance and harmony. Nature has no choice. It is a material representation of the Creative Life Force capped by a generic imagination. Plants and animals get creative when it comes to snaring food, reproducing and even shelter-building. But if you observe a herd of 100,000 wildebeests, you see that each one leads a very similar life. Their choices of food, habitat and behavior are nearly identical throughout the herd. Roll back the clock a million years and you are likely to see the same basic wildebeest behavior.

By contrast, visit any town of 100,000 people and you will see countless economic, cultural, political, religious and lifestyle distinctions. The evolution of the faculty of imagination, the ability to combine universal energy with personal imagery, has lifted the human species beyond the creative restrictions of basic instinct. The Lascaux cave paintings in southern France, dating back 16,000 years, clearly illustrate the emerging artistic tendency in our race. In Utah, I visited a site containing ancient rock art of a scene depicting a shaman assisting in hunting success. This scene contains all the elements you find in a modern vision board and illustrates that people have long understood the role and importance of the visualizing aspect of imagination.

Our modern cultures have invented an entirely new world full of houses with beautifully landscaped yards, glistening high-rise cities, bustling shopping malls, countless educational opportunities, grocery stores with foods from around the world, sophisticated transportation systems, instant global communications, trade and manufacturing that has literally altered the landscape of the planet. Roll back the clock a million years and, unlike the wildebeest, you will see a humanity that scarcely resembles the modern version.

Like animals, we, too, have a generic soul, but our turbocharged faculty of imagination has allowed us to take giant creative leaps far beyond the circumscribed boundaries that inhibit the creativity of other species. Your dog loves you unconditionally, and you would like to think it is because he lives on a higher level of awareness. In truth, he is forgiving because he simply cannot read anything into the fact that you forgot to feed him yesterday. He takes the food you give him today as if you are the most wonderful, thoughtful provider on earth. He cannot curse you for the discomfort you may have caused, nor can he attribute your forgetfulness to one of your unresolved childhood issues. He wags his tail in loving gratitude that he is finally eating again. He is hardwired to love and trust you, his pack leader, and he cannot engage in behavior that is inconsistent with his generic soul.

It may seem that animal vitality and the ability to be fully present can be attributed to the animal having attained a superior level of awareness. This ability, however, is better explained as the animal’s inability to conceive of the abstract concepts of future or past. Nearly all their faculties are programmed to address their present needs. They function from a model of success that is limited to the threefold aim of filling their bellies, finding shelter and reproducing offspring. Animals may be content with this basic agenda, but the spiritually awakening human, who has no apparent inventive restrictions, is not.

From Simplicity to Complexity
Your life feels incomplete when you project from the perception that you are separated from your spiritual foundation, your soul. Your soul is a concentration of life, love, power and intelligence inherent in the Creative Life Force. Your faculty of imagination allows you to personalize these elements to produce all the various aspects of your life. You do this by first establishing centers of thought that become states of consciousness, and these, in turn, serve as centers from which specific things and conditions evolve.

It may seem an oversimplification to say that our life, as it is expressed, is derived from varying combinations of four fundamental elements. Consider that, from a computer standpoint, each letter in our English alphabet is created from binary code. Letters are a unique combination of two digits, 0 and 1, put together in a string of eight. For example, you see the capital letter “L,” but the computer sees 01001100. You see the word love (in lower case), and the computer sees 1101100010011110111011001100101. When you consider the range of ideas that are communicated by varying combinations of these two digits, you see how complexity can grow out of simplicity. Depending on the human imagination to which they are subjected, two digits can convey everything from the obscene to the divine. Complicating the code by adding a third or fourth digit would not change the nature of ideas individuals wish to convey. Two digits are sufficient to convey any idea that can be put into language.

From this perspective, you can see that asking God to give you something that will make you feel more complete is asking the impossible. All of God’s attributes, like a spiritual binary code, are present and are being perpetually imparted to every person and to every living thing. Your feeling of incompleteness is based on the illusion that your soul is undeveloped, separate from its source or lacking crucial information. As you awaken to your unity with the Infinite, you begin to under-stand that your very existence is an activity of the Creative Life Force, and that your desire for a fuller, more expanded life is nothing less than the inner stirring of your soul. When you start with the awareness that all creative forces are concentrated within you and are therefore available for your use, you begin to apprehend and project from your wholeness into your external affairs and you begin to get what you want from life.

The Forgotten Son

Question: You often refer to the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) but you don’t say much about the elder brother who stayed at home. What about this part of the story?

In my opinion, this parable embodies the entire scope of Jesus’ teaching concerning the state of the soul. I refer most to the younger son who squandered his inheritance on riotous living in the far country because most of us can easily relate to this character. We’ve all felt alone and far from home. We know fear and we know suffering and I think we instinctively know these conditions are the result of poor choices attributed to spiritual ignorance.

The figure of the elder son does indeed have much to tell us. In the parable, we see the unwavering constant is the father and his household. If we think of this figure as the soul and its divine environment, the very different roles of the two sons comes into focus. Both sons suffered, but for completely different reasons. The younger, the prodigal, suffered deprivation and fear. The elder suffered self-righteous anger and self-pity. The younger suffered for breaking all the rules. The elder suffered because he felt unrewarded for keeping all the rules.

The father, addressing his elder son, pointed out that there is but one rule: “All that is mine is yours” (Luke 15:31). This rule is not changed because we stray. Nor does it change because we do all the right things. We do not harm or enhance the condition of the soul based on merit. Our understanding fluctuates, but the soul’s condition of completeness does not. We suffer from the false perceptions triggered by these fluctuations in understanding.

The two sons represent two kinds of attitudes. The elder son is the belief that if we walk the straight and narrow and learn all the lessons the soul needs to learn, we will be rewarded. Those who embrace the concept of reincarnation usually do so as another chance to get it right. What are we supposed to get right? To follow the rules perfectly and experience full illumination. But as Jesus has his father character point out, all that is mine is yours already. You don’t have to earn what is already yours.

Both mainstream and alternative Christianity place us in the far country. Those who embrace scriptural literalism insist Adam and Eve’s transgression put us there. We’re born in sin and we have to earn the right to get back into Heaven’s garden. The alternative approach essentially blames soul immaturity. Our return to the garden depends on lessons learned. With this parable, Jesus clearly contradicts both narratives. The prodigal did not have to earn the right to return home. He did not have to earn his father’s love and acceptance. Nor was the elder brother’s rule-abiding behavior a key factor in keeping him in his father’s good graces. This brother’s good behavior had no bearing whatsoever on the father’s unconditional love for him.

Those who teach that their way, their interpretation of the rules of salvation is the only way could learn much from both points. In one sense, our soul’s taking on a physical body has placed us in a far country. Our daily operating consciousness has shifted from a soul-based understanding of who we are to a body-based self-image that believes we are separate from God. The hardships brought on by this forgetting in no way diminish the condition of the soul. If we do not realize this while in the body, we see it the moment we drop it. The trick is to come to remember it while in the body.

I believe we never intended to forget our spiritual identity while in this physical incarnation. But with the bulk of our attention focused on the needs of the body, how could we not forget? This is a universal problem shared by all cultures throughout the ages. At its best, religion reminds us of this spiritual core we have forgotten. At its worst, religion reinforces and capitalizes on the problem of perceived separation by erecting a theological toll booth through which we must pass to regain our oneness. This is the elder son. Abide by the rules and you’ll be rewarded. Jesus, I believe, is debunking this myth.

I have forsaken the belief that we are required to return until we live a full human lifespan without losing our spiritual anchor. For me, the message of Jesus’ parable is this: Your self-righteous piety won’t earn you points that you already have. And even if you totally blow it in this life, you are still an expression of God, and all that God has is and will always be yours. 

Good Questions

Questions: You say that evolution is environmentally driven. Wouldn’t learning more about our spiritual nature be considered an evolution in understanding? Are you trying to say that the human race is not moving toward a more spiritually enlightened state?

Response: When we think of spiritual issues, we have to think in terms of two realms: The spiritual and the biological or material. The spiritual is the unseen, first-cause and the material is the visible vehicle that carries it. The spiritual realm is not subject to the material environment. If the spiritual is to continue to express through material form, however, then the material form must be in sync with the environment. If, due to significant environmental changes, a material form goes extinct, the spiritual realm continues unaffected and will express as a different form suited to the new environment. Scientists tell us that 99.9% of all species that have ever existed have gone extinct. Yet this energy we know as life persists as strong as ever.

When science says that life evolves, they are referring to the biological forms that life takes. This is because science is dominated by materialistic thinking. It is assumed that life is generated by the physical forms that express it. Unfortunately, many in the spiritual community have done the same thing. The state of humanity is associated with environmental values which include the state of the physical body and the current state of social conditions. At a certain level, we accept that life cannot die and the source of all peace and harmony must be found at the spiritual level. Because disease, aging, death and discord are still mingled in the human experience, we mistakenly interpret these conditions as evidence of spiritual immaturity. In defining the core and condition of man, we take our eye off the soul (the changeless) and focus on the body and social environment (the ever-changing). We place the soul in an evolutionary framework that simply does not apply.

Is the desire to learn more about our spiritual nature evidence of an evolving soul? Not necessarily. The accumulation of facts, even spiritual facts, has nothing whatsoever to do with the state of the soul. It’s the difference between looking at a beautiful photograph of a mountain and actually experiencing the mountain. One can accumulate a library of books full of mountain photography, but this is not the same as actually experiencing mountains. We can argue that an interest in collecting mountain photography is a sign that the collector is moving toward a mountain experience, but this is not necessarily true. In addition, a person who does not have even a single photograph of a mountain can have a mountain experience. Photos are not required.

In our quest for spiritual understanding, we naturally pick up books and look to teachers to guide us on our way. While these prove to be inspirational and helpful in many ways, these sources of information serve to shape our opinion of our spiritual state. Drawing inspiration from another is not the same as a direct experience of one’s own soul. Yet we’re not aware of this distinction. We actually mistake inspiration for a spiritual experience. Because of this, inspiration becomes a kind of drug that we inject first thing in the morning and hope it gets us through the day. We probably require several injections to keep us positively upbeat. The whole notion of soul evolution is tied to the belief that we must acquire so much spiritual information that we stay spiritually high forever.

As seen in this paraphrase, Jesus debunked this false notion: You say four months to harvest, but I’m telling you to lift your spiritual eyes and see the fields ready for harvest now. The “four months to harvest” is tied to the false belief of soul evolution which, in turn, is tied directly to the evolutionary process we see at work in the material domain. In this regard, the spiritual and the material realms are absolutely unrelated. The material, not the spiritual, is subject to evolution.

Is the human race evolving toward a more spiritually enlightened state? No. If anything, the human race is moving away from its true source of enlightenment. An individual does not discover his or her soul in a community of like-minded believers. The individual must go alone to actually experience the inner fountain of the soul. This is how we are designed. I have pointed out that our faculty of imagination has an intuitive side that opens directly to the soul and a visualizing side that opens to the world of externals. Collectively, we have closed the intuitive side and relied only on the visualizing side. We visualize images given to us by the get-rich-quick prophets posing as spiritual teachers (who are usually the only ones who get rich), while ignoring that gnawing question of the value of gaining the world at the expense of losing sight of the soul. As long as we follow the pied pipers of materialism — those who assure us we’ll find our missing core in the accumulation of things — we will never be free of the feeling that something essential to our being is missing.

The senses-based self-image – the mask, the personality – is a herding animal. It needs to be surrounded by a group from which it may draw its strength and identity. In contrast, the soul is self-existent, self-sustaining, drawing its strength and identity directly from the creative life force we call God. It does not matter that the bulk of humanity is engaged in an endless splashing through the shallows of popular culture (especially spiritual popular culture) chasing that eternally elusive brass ring of spiritual enlightenment.

Every individual has direct access to their fully developed soul. The soul is what we seek. Find this and all else is added.

Are We Here To Learn?

Earth is a school and we are here to learn.

Of all the arguments I’ve heard attempting to counter the notion that our soul is now complete, this is by far the most common. As a recovering soul evolutionist, I understand the argument. I believed for years that our struggles — from accidents to serious illnesses — came with a lesson we needed to learn and advance our soul’s evolutionary process.

I think most rational people agree that we can learn from our mistakes. But suppose someone blindfolds you and sends you into a field full of pits, bogs, fences, fires, spikes, and other hazardous obstacles. After experiencing a series of unpleasant encounters, they lift your blindfold and ask what you learned from all this hardship. Fire burns, spikes hurt, pits are frightening, and bogs cause tremendous struggle. Okay. So they blindfold you again and send you back into the field to apply your new understanding. Does this knowledge keep you from repeating the same, pain-inflicting mistakes? No. You will continue to repeat them until you take off the blindfold.

What is this blindfold? Simply stated, it’s the belief that some day in the future we will be more spiritually complete than we are right now. If we lift this blindfold, we walk through the field unharmed. The knowledge we gain while blindfolded has no value to those who reject the belief that spiritual fulfillment is a hope of the future.

Another consideration that raises doubts about the schoolhouse theory is the question so often posed: What about the Hitlers of the world? Are we to imagine they chose such destructive, hateful, and harmful paths because their soul’s had certain lessons to learn, and this learning required millions of victims? And what of these millions of victims, each with family, a circle of friends, dreams, interests, curiosities, a love of beautiful music, and a list of favorite foods? Did their souls require the terror, the torture, the loss of homeland, dignity, family, and freedom because they could only advance under such horrific conditions? Certainly there are stories of unbelievable heroism, perseverance, and endurance that emerge from these dark periods of the human experience. But are such horrors required so their soul they may take a further step? I think not.

We can, of course, sidestep these questions by saying we can never really know what another soul needs to advance. We can keep our schoolhouse open with a shrug of acceptance that there are simply spiritual mysteries we can never resolve. In other words, there are many ways to justify wearing the blindfold.

In examining near-death research, it would be easy to conclude that the body itself is the blindfold. Many experiencers report that, momentarily free of the body, their ability to see and hear far exceeds normal ranges of sight and sound detected by our physical senses. Likewise, we could easily surmise that the brain, as a transmitter of consciousness, imposes major restrictions on our ability to know.

It’s important to understand, however, that taking on a body does not mean we lose our intuitive ability to “live with the privilege of immeasurable mind,” as Emerson put it. It only means that we have the additional possibility of succumbing to a falsely perceived world fabricated by the senses. In such a world, the soul is reduced to a conceptualization that, like all things appearing in the realm of the senses, has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The soul is assigned a potential flowering culmination when in truth it is and has always been in full blossom.

So the blindfold is not actually the body, but a collectively agreed upon version of reality constructed from senses-based facts. The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, pointed out that “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” The focus here is on that ever-changing river of circumstance and the endless gathering of new facts that produce universities and drive all aspects of our developing technology.

Heraclitus does not take into account that the man, wherever he is standing, can only be in one place at a time. He can only be here, never there. Intellectually, he can learn more facts and he can acquire more things, but at the soul level he can never be more than he is right now. Why? Because he can never step from this now moment. The blindfold is not an inability to know this freeing truth. The blindfold is his fixation on using this ever-changing river of material appearances as his basis for reality.

When we think of evolution, we tend to think of it as occurring over time and moving toward a goal. The fossil record provides the best support for this view. But is it true? The energy we know as life does not struggle to be something more than it is right now. Each of the many forms life takes, on the other hand, engage in perpetual adaptation to their ever-changing environment. The point we often miss is that this process completes within each moment. Evolution has no goal. If a change in the environment requires a response, the response is made. It’s like putting on a coat when you go outside because there are icicles hanging from the roof. You adapt. The purpose of every facet of the natural world is to bring itself, at full capacity, to this now moment. There never has been and never can be one moment when this purpose is not fully realized.

I am convinced that the greatest cause for misunderstanding Jesus, both in his day and ours, is that he was speaking of a kingdom of God that is presently spread over the earth but men do not see it. Then as now, they wait for the kingdom to come. The birds of the air and the lilies of the field are not waiting for a coming kingdom. They are not storing up knowledge so they may live a better life in the future. They apply their full being to the present. This is the fulfillment of Jesus’ seek first the kingdom and all else will be added. Come into the conscious awareness of your spiritual wholeness and live your success within each moment of the day.

There is but one lesson to learn: Your soul and its spiritual environment is now complete. Quietly dwell in this understanding and carry it through your day. Jesus did not suggest that the lessons we learn from problems in life will help brighten our light. He simply said, let your light shine. This light rises from your very core, from the center to the circumference of your being. Become willing to remove your blindfold of preconceived notions about your spiritual inadequacies, and surrender to the radiance of this healing, balancing light that is your soul.

[Watch Spiritual Adaptation on YouTube]

Natural Supply

(Chapter 9 of The Complete Soul)

Our prodigal awareness, forever trolling the reef-laden shallows of the material domain, never quite forgets that our real home has no shores. We sit in the safety of the harbor with our books, our teachers and our sacred scriptures. We visit the beach, gaze in reverence and wonder into that mist-shrouded horizon that stirs in us a strange mix of mystery and primordial familiarity. With our values, our house and our affairs orderly and firmly established in harbor life, we think a certain way, the starting point always from these surrounding beaches. We contemplate and read about the sea and we seek to reconcile the fact that we are so deeply moved by this boundless vista, this restless living thing that stirs before us.

Then, at some unexpected moment, a profound revelation breaks into our awareness. Our house may indeed stand in the harbor, our ship, safely moored at the pier, but our true home is the open sea. This incessant longing that keeps bringing us back to the wonder we behold from this beach, to the feel of cool waves washing over our feet, is that completed part of us that never has and never shall leave the unconditional freedom of this eternal sea. To know this truth and to value it above all is to put our heart in the Truth that makes us free. – JDB

As we’ve seen, one of the restrictions we encounter with a body is its care and maintenance. Yet when Matthew included Jesus’ discourse on the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, he did so in a way that suggests a condition where the body is supplied by something transcending the usual sweat-of-the-brow approach to meeting our material needs. He may have been hinting at this with Nicodemus when he pointed out the need to be born anew, to dislodge focus on the body-centered self-image and move the awareness back to its rightful place … the soul. Might this have been why he also said, “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.[1] Is he not calling attention to our true being as spiritual rather than biological?

Extended Dependence as Infants

Of all living creatures, we humans take the prize when it comes to extended dependence in infancy. Unless we were fortunate enough to be born to parents who did not confuse our soul with our body (this would be a cultural rarity), we have much to learn, not in the way of soul education, but in bodily disassociation. While in the womb, we took no thought of hunger, warmth, and security. The instant we emerged from this all-sustaining incubator, any absence of these accustomed comforts suddenly became a factor. We were, for the first time, introduced to the reality of lack. In addition, people took the place of the womb in providing our physical comforts and essentials.

It was during this critical phase of infancy that our life of service to the needs of the body began. The culture into which we were born inadvertently lured us into the hope that we could draw permanent sustenance and satisfaction from the material world. In the eyes of some, competition for resources began a cognitive arms race, as one evolutionary biologist describes it.[2] We experienced the nakedness of lack and decided we would do most anything to avoid it. Possession-based esteem issues were born (without this or that thing, I’m not good enough). These were our formative years, our conformative years, our fall, that transitioning period when the self-awareness shifted from the natural, inwardly oriented soul that took on a body, to a body-centered self-image that started carrying the abstract notion of having a soul.

This fundamental shift in identity, this separation of the self-awareness from the soul, becomes for us the “… way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to [spiritual] death.[3]

The day, the very minute that our physical body entered this worldly harbor, was marked, recorded, and certified as the beginning of our existence. Programmed to associate who and what we are at the body level, the birthday clock began ticking, and our body-centered self, exposed and beholden to the restrictions of Newtonian law, kicked in. Suddenly we had our father’s eyes or our mother’s hair, and a physical brain treated as a blank tablet to be socialized and filled with the information that would enable us to cope with our strange new reality. We became the star pupil or the dumb kid in the class, the athlete or the nerd, the homecoming queen or the plain Jane. We were evaluated, not on the order of the once-familiar eternal scale of the soul, but on a culturally calibrated scale, subject to time and space, genetics, social performance, I.Q., age, looks, rich or poor, popularity and by all else that transpires between the book ends of the birth and death of our physical body. Perhaps our parents and educators determined that our natural talents and interests had no monetary potential and discouraged their development. You and I have stepped into a world that largely ignores the warning of Emerson:

“Don’t be deceived by dimples and curls. I tell you that babe is a thousand years old.”

Our world trades in the currency of dimples and curls, and is largely asleep to the soul. The materialists tell us that God is nothing more than a primordial need, a naturally selected configuration of neurons, evolved in the brain as a genetic response to our need to invent meaning in an otherwise meaningless world. The thousand-year-old babe is thrown out with the bathwater the moment the umbilical cord is severed and we are laid to suckle at our mother’s breast.

With the intuitive portal all but closed, the self-awareness merges with the ego and takes on the unintended role as the ruling force in the tiny universe that is the self-image and its accompanying galaxy of consciousness. Consciously cut off from the soul, the self-image measures its strength, worth, and relevance by the type and quality of external positions and possessions it acquires. This false sense of identity engages the visualizing aspect of the imagination and all other faculties in a life-long quest to draw fulfillment from external sources. The cognitive arms race is game on in earnest.

Law of Attraction/Positive Thinking

Those who discover the correlation between their consciousness and their life’s conditions may be drawn to a class of teachings that shift the focus from hard labor to positive mental attitudes as a means of acquiring the things they desire. This affirmative approach based on the law of attraction advocates developing and attracting conditions of healing and prosperity through the practice of positive mental attitudes and the power of positive thinking. This approach is good as far as it goes.

From the Gospel of Matthew, we get the sense that Jesus warned against the practice of laying up earthly treasures where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal,[4] regardless of the method of acquisition employed. Jesus bluntly distinguishes between God and mammon,[5] leaving little doubt that the worship of one meant the denial of the other. And yet, as I’ve already pointed out, one of the most beautiful passages of scripture also comes from Matthew’s account, with Jesus clearly stating that a genuine understanding of our spiritual heritage naturally translates into a life free of fear and material want; a condition already enjoyed by the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”[6]

We may declare our main interest is in spiritual matters, but we would probably be most honest admitting our motive in seeking first the kingdom is simply a means to the greater end of having all these things. We are still shackled with the problem of the soul engaged in the human experience from within a physical body whose needs provide much of the incentive that drives our quest for spiritual understanding. We sit up and take notice when a man like Jesus suggests the triumph of spirit over matter. The quest for spiritual understanding can easily take a back seat to finding that elusive key to a restriction-free physical body and material environment.

The context of this saying clearly indicates that the “kingdom” is of far greater value than any material benefits it might generate. In addition, gaining an understanding of it does not seem to involve a patient process of consciousness building that will one day bring our evolving soul into alignment with a universe of material abundance. We are led to believe that it is our understanding and trust in the present and accessible spiritual domain, awaiting our recognition that fulfills our material requirements; a state that brings to mind that carefree harmony between soul and body that we enjoyed in the womb.

Not God or Mammon

The appeal of practical Christianity is the hope that the system Jesus taught will make us masters of our bodies and material environment. How to heal the body, generate prosperity, get a better job, or find our soul mate are the things we’re hoping to achieve through a deeper understanding of this kingdom. Though these represent practical solutions to the problems of the human experience, our focus only on what we deem practical may also keep us from asking and seeking answers to some deeper, much larger questions.

In some ways, the notion of spiritual progress becomes a set of blinders focused only on how adept we are at material demonstration. Rather than commit to actually entering this higher sphere, we often treat it as a means of drawing from a basket the goods we desire and solutions to the problems that confront us in this earthly endeavor. The point we may miss in our quest for things is that, from our soul’s point of view, it has never been a question of God or mammon. God is one presence, one power expressing at all levels. Our needs are met at each level. Are we settling for just the visible aspect of available support, or do we seek an understanding of that unseen Source that sustains the soul? I do not think Jesus is urging his listener away from fulfilling their material needs. I believe he is coaxing them toward an understanding of the fuller spectrum.

Because Jesus makes an issue of the worship of God and mammon, some have concluded that he was advocating material deprivation. The keyword here is worship. To worship is to venerate something as an idol. Whether we are idolizing a stone statue, a religious relic, or a pile of money there is a difference between seeing an object as a source of power, and seeing it as a symbol or a reminder of that deeper reality that is the source of all power. The trap many fall into with the practice of tithing, for example, is that they designate a percentage of their income as God’s. The real power of tithing kicks in when we look beyond percentages and realize that 100% of all that we receive and give is God’s.

Veneration of the symbol, seeing it as the object of fulfillment, is worshiping mammon. The symbol is an expression, an effect of the deeper reality. When our priority is to experience and understand at this level, then its material counterpart sheds its status as mammon. Who would consider a peaceful walk in the woods, with all the natural beauty that we see, hear, touch, and smell as mammon? Yet the material aspect of the natural world is the visible counterpart of an underlying, supporting reality we do not see. The issue is not the material realm as the cause of our problems, but our belief that material things can deliver what only the soul can give.

Take No Thought

Jesus’ statement that we take no thought, or refrain from being anxious concerning what we shall eat, drink, or wear[7] suggests a method of manifestation that does not require our physical blood, sweat, and tears. It does not tap our subconscious storehouse of information, or engage in the kind of extensive intellectual analysis that normally accompanies our attention to meeting the body’s needs. Given its natural means of expression, the soul projects directly from its own self-sustaining existence those ideas necessary to form the consciousness that inspires the kind of physical action that translates into the various aspects of our material environment. In other words, Jesus is suggesting a manifestation process that bypasses altogether all the wants and needs of the self-image we have created. Rather than the self-image — with its fears, inadequacies, and limitations calling the consciousness-building shots — it is from the soul that our flow of instruction comes.

The self-image has hijacked this otherwise very natural flow that we see in play everywhere in nature. Plants and animals do not have the intellectual capacity or the imagination that allows them to establish a self-image capable of interfering with the manifestation process. The soul of the simplest seed is complete. From this soul, a totally fulfilling manifestation process occurs. Why would we, of far greater creative capacity, think of ourselves as being any less equipped than even the least of these?

From this understanding, it is clear that Jesus knew exactly what he was talking about when he urged his listeners to seek first the kingdom and all else would be added. The problem that our self-image encounters with this instruction is that it has subconscious files filled with information on what it believes the “kingdom” is supposed to look like. When it gets no satisfactory results running to these files, it continues its pursuit to understand by checking the files of others. Perhaps if Jesus had not used the term “kingdom” and instead said the answers we seek are encoded in our soul, many might have been saved much grief searching for something in their own memory banks that already exists within their being.

As we begin to reopen the intuitive aspect of the imagination, our soul’s light gradually reaches the visioning aspect. New and spontaneous imagery is generated, possibly as mental pictures, but more likely as a deep and secure inner knowing that something transcending our normal thinking is beginning to emerge. This knowing will often come in flashes of insight at unexpected times throughout the day. We recognize the spiritual authenticity of this rising light as a stark contrast to any notion of spiritual illumination our self-image has conjured up thus far.

Our real adventure of contemplation, exploration and discovery on this earth truly begins with the conscious recovery of a soul-based perspective. To use another bit of wisdom attributed to Jesus, though we are missing one of our one hundred sheep, we still own them all.[8] The missing one is the understanding that our soul is now whole. This is but a perceptual problem, a forgetting that we are here in this earthly harbor by choice and we are still fully supplied and supported within the womb of God.

The practice of meditation, which we will explore in the following chapter, has but one purpose. This purpose is to open the intuitive portal of the imagination, to get a firm grasp on our true home at sea, to stir in us the courage to cast off the lines that bind us to this shore, and set sail for the open water

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[1] Matthew 23:9

[2] Roeder, Mark. 2013. Unnatural Selection: Why The Greeks Will Inherit the Earth. HarperCollins.

[3] Proverbs 14:12

[4] Matthew 6:19

[5] Matthew 6:24

[6] Matthew 6:31-33

[7] Matthew 6:31

[8] Matthew 18:12

The Truth About Spiritual Healing Video

Click for Youtube: The Truth About Spiritual Healing

Healing has always been an important aspect of both Traditional and New Thought Christian approaches. While both encourage faith in God, New Thought emphasizes the importance of individual understanding and attitude. We start with the truth of our oneness with God and our wholeness at the soul level.

For a variety of reasons, the body can malfunction in ways that are sometimes difficult to understand. We may see a health challenge as a spiritual test, a catalyst for learning, a wake-up call of some type, or the outworking of a bout of prolonged anxiety. There may be truth to some or all of these, but we do not want to linger too long on causes. Referring to a man blind from birth, the disciples asked Jesus if it was the man or his parents who had sinned. Jesus basically said it didn’t matter, that this was an opportunity to see the works of God. The man was healed of his blindness.

Think of your body as a television set. Think of your soul as the programming picked up by the television. The television can malfunction, but the programming signal is still available. As soon as the television set is repaired, the signal is translated into a picture and sound.

Now think of your soul as your primary healing agent. Your soul, like the broadcasting signal, presses in upon every aspect of your mind and body. You may be guided to seek medical help, to change your diet, start an exercise routine, make some lifestyle adjustments, or simply take a deeper interest in your spiritual needs. The most important thing is holding the vision of your soul, complete in every way, freely pressing in upon and through your body in ways that are balancing, peace-bringing, and radiant with warm, healing energy.

If you need to know what brought about your physical condition, trust that you will be made aware of this. There’s no need to stress over it. The body has millions of moving parts, and your soul is endowed with the intelligence to keep them moving in harmony. Hold this vision with an open mind and heart. You are whole now.

 

The Truth About Spiritual Healing

Notice: Due to technical difficulties, only the audio can be posted today. If the video issue is resolved, it will be posted separately.

 Click for audio: The Truth About Spiritual Healing

Healing has always been an important aspect of both Traditional and New Thought Christian approaches. While both encourage faith in God, New Thought emphasizes the importance of individual understanding and attitude. We start with the truth of our oneness with God and our wholeness at the soul level.

For a variety of reasons, the body can malfunction in ways that are sometimes difficult to understand. We may see a health challenge as a spiritual test, a catalyst for learning, a wake-up call of some type, or the outworking of a bout of prolonged anxiety. There may be truth to some or all of these, but we do not want to linger too long on causes. Referring to a man blind from birth, the disciples asked Jesus if it was the man or his parents who had sinned. Jesus basically said it didn’t matter, that this was an opportunity to see the works of God. The man was healed of his blindness.

Think of your body as a television set. Think of your soul as the programming picked up by the television. The television can malfunction, but the programming signal is still available. As soon as the television set is repaired, the signal is translated into a picture and sound.

Now think of your soul as your primary healing agent. Your soul, like the broadcasting signal, presses in upon every aspect of your mind and body. You may be guided to seek medical help, to change your diet, start an exercise routine, make some lifestyle adjustments, or simply take a deeper interest in your spiritual needs. The most important thing is holding the vision of your soul, complete in every way, freely pressing in upon and through your body in ways that are balancing, peace-bringing, and radiant with warm, healing energy.

If you need to know what brought about your physical condition, trust that you will be made aware of this. There’s no need to stress over it. The body has millions of moving parts, and your soul is endowed with the intelligence to keep them moving in harmony. Hold this vision with an open mind and heart. You are whole now.