Table of Contents
Principles of Sacred Consciousness
Second Principle of Personal Transformation
In pursuit of truth, to come to know ourselves as sharing the same essence as God.
The way of purification
Each individual soul, as well as mankind as a whole, is being called to experience a return to divinity through a sacred process known as 'purification.' For each person this transition into light involves a face-to-face meeting with the forces of light and darkness within the self. The meeting with these forces is the context within which the shift into greater spiritual awareness can take place.
Purification results in movement toward wholeness of mind, body, and spirit that renders us capable of living our lives with an attitude of sacredness. Given that our core essence is already wholeness and light, purification uncovers and releases obstacles which block the full experience and expression of our core selves.
This clearing away of the negativity of our 'lower' natures is a process that many postpone because it requires facing fear and feeling pain. However, the resistance which occurs within us due to our fear of pain is countered by the expansion of love and joy that takes place – feelings which expand as a sense of greater aliveness emerges. This aliveness is a direct result of the deepening of self-knowledge. As awareness of the meaning of life experience deepens and as we sense ourselves to be coming home to God's universe, joy and love expand within the soul.
God's promise to always uphold us as we seek Him is the basis for being able to maintain our intention to purify, especially during times of difficulty. For it is not we alone that undertake the difficult task of purification. We do so in the context of the Covenant1 – the partnership with God whose essence is: "You shall be my people, and I shall be your God."
In remembering God's promise to be faithful to us we are sustained during times of pain and difficulty and are enabled to persist. While actively praying for help and guidance we gradually come to know that the truth within will ultimately be revealed to us.
Addictive process as a path of healing
Our human crises force us to question fundamental beliefs about ourselves, the world, and God and provide us with many opportunities to develop faith while we search for answers. Yet, often in the face of crisis or personal loss we do not find the faith that we seek. Instead our fear tells us that it is not safe to trust God, that we must be in control.
Our attempts to control life and situations rather than accept them, to control ourselves rather than accept ourselves, lead to further alienation and isolation, even though these attempts are based on the notion that they will lead to greater happiness and wholeness. These efforts at control do not lead to wholeness. They lead to addictive process, to the seeking of solutions to the problem of separation outside of the self.
In the broadest sense, addictive process may be thought of as unconscious living in the illusion of wholeness. Out of our sense of aloneness, out of our doubt and fear, we go outside of ourselves looking for completion and safety. Within this fundamental human drama countless forms of addiction take root. The presence of clinging to substitutes for wholeness is symptomatic of the need for the healing of separation from God. The healing direction for those who are ready lies in the determination to willingly live within God's reality and to let life be guided and directed by that reality.
Each form of addiction carries with it an opportunity for healing at a deep level. Each provides an occasion for penetrating the illusion of separation and isolation that we live with. In many cases of addiction a shift needs to be made away from a rigid definition of behavioral change as the primary sign of healing, toward a broader spiritual perspective. Behavioral change is a sign of healing. However, abstinence from one's former addictive patterns can give rise to addiction expressed in other, more subtle directions – unless it is combined with new forms of nourishment and love being taken in by the self.
The understanding of all addictive process as spiritually-based calls us to look even further beyond the specific form the process is taking to the motivation or energy behind it. Indeed, an excessive focus on the behavioral form of addiction contributes to the maintenance of a limited identity and keeps us in illusion that the form itself is the primary or sole problem. This is not true. The primary problem of addictive process is the spiritual dilemma that lies at the root of it. By discerning the energy behind the form of our addiction we can more easily address the fear and control issues that perpetuate our state of spiritual separation.
Recovery as a prelude to purification
The recovery process2 has enabled many of us, through humility, to become more accepting of our humanity. We are nourished in our humility by the recognition of a spiritual Source which we trust to sustain us. We are also nourished through our willingness to reach out to other people as we strive to overcome chronic patterns of isolation. Through our reliance on this Source and on support from one another we prepare the way within us to open further to spiritual reality.
As our love expands so, too, does our desire to serve others and to exist in greater partnership with God. It is this desire for partnership that allows us to become more open to receiving ongoing blessings and nourishment from above. As this desire grows what we recover is the memory of who we are. We become the essential human we are meant to be.
In this process, there is a joining of the two parts of the self – the human and the Divine. The God-Presence within transforms our personality as well as our outer life as we learn that we are part of God, one in essence. At the same time, we discover that the relationship of love is based on two being present – our soul who loves God, and God who loves our soul.
As we persevere we discover the potential of our paths to act as teachers for us. When we open our minds and hearts fully to this awareness we find that spiritual transformation begins within ourselves precisely where we are right now. We learn that we can move from our present reality, exactly as it is, into a connection with the Divine pattern of our spirit. Our need for healing in the present defines the lines along which this movement will take place and, step by step, carries us into a future in which we can re-experience our wholeness.
The principles of recovery become the principles of ongoing transformation when we take our desire to master our limitations to the next higher level. This higher level is one in which all limitation can be seen as a result of our experience of separation from God. Viewed in this light all healing brought about by transformation is based on an end to separation and a return to oneness. This healing occurs through the remembrance of our Divine essence and being.
God within life
In moving to this deeper and truer level of perception it is useful to consider the metaphor of a 'well' that many of us unconsciously carry. Viewing light as only available above the upper surface of the well reinforces the split between our image of God's reality and our image of human reality. It does not correspond to the truth that is – that light is present within the well of our human self, as well as beyond it.
To see God within the well of human experience is to know that painful experiences do not indicate the absence of light or of God. It is to know that ”negative” emotions, produced by what are generally perceived of as “negative” life events, are also part of God's reality, since they become the foundation upon which learning, healing, and transformation can take place. In a state of acceptance and trust we can accept the negative experiences of life, as well as the positive, because all experience contributes to our healing.
This attitude invalidates the need for blame, judgment, anger, or shame. As we move into this more positive attitude toward life we begin to feel the truth that each individual can be greeted as an expression of God's love and that we ourselves carry this essence, as well. This expanding ability to greet life with love and to meet others with love creates a radical shift in our relationship to life. We begin to see the divinity within everything. We begin to see problems as opportunities and all relationships as gifts.
The healing that is needed for further growth to take place is not healing from being human. It is healing from living life with limited consciousness. It is healing from living life without awareness of God's presence within us. Our humanness is precious and precious to God. Through the healing process known as 'purification,' we learn to accept both our humanity and our divinity and to join the two so they are no longer separated. We learn to see God's grace operating on the physical plane and to feel the light within us that has always been there.
Navigating this journey into wholeness involves the ongoing willingness to surrender and to turn to divine Intelligence for help and guidance. As we let go of our need for control we reach out in trust toward an unseen hand for support and direction. Holding this hand we are able to confront each level of darkness within ourselves.
Purification may be seen as a partnership between ourselves and God which activates a movement toward wholeness. It also promotes the reintegration of our fragmented selves. Our willingness to undergo this passage is continually supported by the belief that light is more powerful than darkness and that it is destined to prevail. It is this assurance of the victory of light over darkness that we reach for, time and time again, as we wend our way home to God.
This Second Principle offers hope to individuals and to humanity as a whole – the hope that through purification we may join fully with the God of our understanding. The awakening of memories and the emergence of new experiences of the Divine opens our hearts, teaches us to joyfully sanctify our lives, and encourages us to discover our unique and sacred purpose for being here. As we grow in consciousness we perceive our lives to be the completion of a circle in which Creator and creation become one, and in which the divine Breath is seen and felt to permeate all that is.
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"...it is the time for the progressive revelation of the power of Love, and all help is given to those who have cast off fear sufficiently to allow something new, even something half-understood, to enter their awareness."
Teaching the Heart to Sing