Saturday, 3 May 2014

A Step Towards Reality

          There are moments in one's experience when a thought which has been around for quite awhile, whether it be for days, weeks or months, suddenly becomes immediate or brought into focus. It is not unlike seeing objects through a new pair of spectacles, acquired because the old prescription has become unfit for purpose. Thus it was that recently the idea that I should attempt to see the world around me in a different way, suddenly came into a new focus. From a psychological point of view, one might frame this idea as seeing the world through the eyes of the True or Higher Self, the Transpersonal Self. For the Christian, perhaps, it is an attempt to see the world as the Inner Christ would see it, if that were possible. 
          It is perhaps unfortunate that words play such a large part in our ideas. Whereas I am comfortable with the idea of seeing the world through the eyes of my Higher Self, even though the practice is likely to be far more difficult than the propounding of the idea, the introduction of the word 'Christ', whether it be of the 'Inner' or the historical variety, can and does generate problems for some people. Much the same applies to the God word. When the religious words are used, there seems also to be a natural tendency to place them in the same bracket as the Church. And now comes my difficulty regarding the teachings of the Church, for it seems to me that either the Church has forgotten its true calling, or has simply ignored it for more worldly considerations such as politics and morality.
          As I pointed out elsewhere, it seems to me that the main, even perhaps the sole, function of morality is help us as a large (and getting daily larger) group of egos to get along together. Thus morality recognises the need to curb the natural inclinations of the ego, but does little to further the cause of mysticism, the natural realm of the Higher Self. It seems to me, therefore, that whatever the Church may aspire to, its teachings (other than the expounding of the Christian mythology) fall far short of what the Christ actually taught. I should add at this juncture that I recognise that this falling short of spiritual aspiration does not apply to many religious people, Christian or otherwise, who are genuinely searching for spiritual truth, as are many non-religious people.  
          Morality, then, is not the prime baggage to be jettisoned in the cause of the Higher Self which is the most obvious source of egoless love. If one lives by the gentle, and on occasions the very ungentle, dictates of love, morality becomes redundant and disappears of itself. Regrettably, it says much about our species that from the very beginnings of settled societies, religious and political law have needed to come together, one perhaps being the precursor of the other, to set behavioural standards that are acceptable to the majority of people living under those laws. Punishment inevitably followed.
          However this script may appear, I have not intended to write a negative criticism of the Church, of morality, of religion, or indeed of any other characteristic or activity, singly or communally, of the human race. Such attacks would have little, if any, value for me. What I have tried to do is to identify one area, an admittedly relatively easy, first-step area, in which I can begin the inclusive process of living through my Higher Self, namely that of living from love rather than from morality. And this arises from a very real need to become available for whatever down-pouring of the spirit that may be waiting to infuse my being. It is a step, maybe only a faltering step, towards achieving an inner, spiritual (or transpersonal, if preferred) balance, a step towards seeing reality in all its awesome aspect. I may not be able to affect the outcome of that down-pouring, but at the very least I can indicate a willingness to participate in the process.       


  1. Tom, you already know my stand on religion/belief and so this post also resonates strongly with me. If all extraneous baggage, sentimental and otherwise, is peeled away from love what remains is, I think, morality in its deepest sense.The message of love transmitted by Christ was also expressed by other wise souls throughout history but we humans seem to have a hard time understanding its simplicity - a difficult simplicity!

  2. This process you speak of reminds me of the philosophy of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (his birthday was May 1st), who said, “Without mysticism, there can be no successful religion: and there can be no well-founded mysticism apart from faith in some unification of the universe”

    Yet it's interesting to know that Teilhard had serious doubts about his own beliefs when he wrote, “How, most of all, can it be that ‘when I come down from the mountain’ and in spite of the glorious vision I still retain, I find that I am so little a better man, so little at peace, so incapable of expressing in my actions, and thus adequately communicating to others, the wonderful unity that I feel encompassing me? Is there, in fact, a Universal Christ, is there a Divine Milieu? Or am I, after all, simply the dupe of a mirage in my own mind? I often ask myself that question."

    Toward the end of his life he was quoted as saying, “If in my life I haven’t been wrong, I beg God to allow me to die on Easter Sunday,” and that is exactly when he died, on Easter, April 10, 1955.

    Keep up your fine effort, Tom. You're in very good company.

  3. Tom, it has seemed to me that the search for one's higher self must include an understanding of the teachings of Jesus the Nazarene, even if finding those teachings means sifting through what became the foundation of a religion.
    There is so much here that glows for me, and I may be back to gush some more. "If one lives by the gentle, and on occasions the very ungentle, dictates of love, morality becomes redundant and disappears of itself." Thank you Tom.

  4. Natalie; When you talk of 'morality in its deepest sense', I begin to sense awareness beyond - and unexplainable through - words. It speaks of a living reality which as you say is simple, yet so difficult to grasp. If one could genuinely come to that state of at-one-ment as a conscious reality, perhaps the difficulty would disappear, leaving behind a reality of being.

  5. Susan: I would echo Teilhard de Chardin's views on mysticism in religion. (Thank heavens the mystic sense is not limited to religion, but is supra-present, if such a word exists.)

    It was so wonderful and heartening to read your account of his experiences of 'coming down the mountain'. If I ever risk wondering whether I am a dupe of a mirage of my mind, I quickly put that thought aside. And here's the reason. As you may have gathered from my writing, I am intensely aware of the power of the ego, its desire to dominate and control, and its risk all policy in support of its own survival. Such thoughts about 'a mirage of the mind' only serve to bolster its own importance and further its survival. Yet, as I have said before, it is the ego that cries out for redemption. It knows! That is what terrifies it. It knows! Pray that God in his mercy......

  6. Halle; I agree with your opening statement. There is a real difficulty in trying to discover those teachings, as distinct from the teachings of the Church. Yet if one is to discover and live through the state that is one's Higher Self, a search for those spiritual fundamentals, (the Kingdom, as St. Thomas referred to it) is essential.

  7. I'm working on making a comment. I hope I'll succeed in finding the way.

  8. My humble opinion is that maybe egoless love and morality are out of necessity one. Without a powerful controlling and occasionally immoral ego one can not create/achieve great nor small undertakings out of love for humanity.

    1. A wonderful insight. Ellena, personally any empathy I've gained over my life can be attributed to personal failings. Some of them seemingly unforgivable.

  9. Ellena and Halle; An ego is necessary, if for no other reason than to deal with our species survival in a threatening environment. That, surely, had to come first for the rest to follow. It seems to me that the ego does that very well compared to all the other species which inhabit the planet. But it does seem to me that, no matter how hard we try, our egos appear, in the light of the tasks we set it, to be flawed. It is a wonder to me that so much can be achieved by the ego. Unfortunately, the ego does, on many occasions (a reflection of the survival instinct perhaps, remember the computer HAL in 2001?) assume godlike powers that are inappropriate. In the end, all we can do is our best, and try to keep our eyes on the bigger spiritual picture that tries to paint a scene of total, not relative, reality.

  10. Inappropriate godlike powers!
    I needed to hear these words. Thanks Tom.