Table of Contents
Principles of Sacred Consciousness
Fourth Principle of Personal Transformation
In pursuing self-knowledge, to thoroughly examine our embodied life experience through the illumination and guidance of the Divine presence within.
Being in the moment
A golden opportunity is made available to us when we call upon God's presence within us to show us what our life is truly about. It then becomes possible to see the perfection of what exists in our lives and to be aware that all of life is a healing, a return to the wholeness of who we are. As this insight into perfection grows our commitment to experience the richness of each moment deepens, and we strive to extract from each moment its full meaning and purpose. Within the sacred process of purification, our calling is to stay continually aligned with the understanding that all of life is ordered according to Divine purpose, and all of life exists for our good.
Often, our daily lives offer us intense purification experiences from which we derive teachings that we need to learn and could not obtain otherwise. Our challenge is to remain trustful and to allow insight to develop in God's time as to the cause for the events that come to us. Achieving this level of acceptance becomes an ever-present goal as we engage in the daily process of healing. Sometimes our experiences of healing are painful, sometimes they are joyful, and sometimes they are both.
Emotions such as grief, anger, confusion, and sadness become common as they flow through us and as we purify. In order to move through our days gracefully and without fear it becomes important to anchor ourselves through alignment with the Divine. We need to learn how to endure in the face of difficulty and to let go of the 'need to know.' We also need to ask for courage in this intimate facing of our lives.
Practicing the teachings of this Principle requires a strong foundation in the First, Second, and Third Principles so that anchoring and alignment can take place on a moment-to-moment basis. The Fourth Principle involves us more intensely in being present to ‘what is,’ being courageously honest in accepting the rightness of what is, and enduring through whatever difficult responses this acceptance may entail. Since we may not know at any given moment what the teaching is that we are being offered, we are asked to trust in the absence of knowing and to remain steadfast in the presence of uncertainty. In this way we remain faithful to the principles of purification.
Trusting and going deeper
Once we get into the flow of this process we are aware of it, for at this point ordinary reality begins to change and we begin to see things from the larger perspective of Divine intentionality. As the process moves forward it becomes very apparent that there are no coincidences in life, and that there are pervasive and ongoing opportunities to explore the history and meaning of our embodied life experience.
Each day we ask to be helped to meet life with an openness to what will unfold, affirming our safety in the perfection of the moment. When we feel a deeper significance in an event or encounter we align and ask for the courage to go deeper into our awareness of the meaning of the experience. Purification leads us into emotional territory that can be gentle or extremely intense. We are releasing all that has ever stood in the way of our awareness of ourselves as Divine children of God. When emotions run toward the extreme we need to strive to find the place within ourselves that can witness the emotion with calmness and an absence of fear.
Of the many possible emotions that can arise both intense love and intense pain are frequently the most difficult to handle. Often, our hearts shut down in fear in the presence of either of these emotions as they have in the past. However, now the shutting down becomes more clear. We are afraid of the feeling itself. Ongoing experience with emotional purification quiets our fears and takes us to a place where all experiences, including painful ones, can be embraced as healing. It also takes us to the place where we can feel more accepting of love that comes to us or that we feel toward another.
In living this Principle we are reminded to let go of trying to understand things better or to change things so that we won't feel pain or uncertainty. Both the pain and the uncertainty are part of our healing. When we try to control things, either our own reactions or life itself, we foster conditions that lead to addictive process and perpetuate the pain.
With respect to our acceptance of each moment we can engage in a continual process of self-scrutiny which leads us to ask several questions. Are we surrendering to what is, or objecting to the form in which life is presenting it to us? Are we assuming a posture of control and maintaining a sense of power and of separation? Are we becoming complicit with addictive energy?
Attachment to wanting to understand more about our past or to wanting more predictive security about the future comes from the voice of the ego. We need to let go of wanting to know how things will turn out and just trust. The practice of being present in the moment without needing to know or to be in control purifies the ego and builds spiritual faith. Waiting in trust so that knowing can be given to us at the appropriate time clears the path for the perfect unfoldment of our destiny.
Principle Four does not require us to analyze ourselves or to reflect on our past in the ways that have become familiar, namely through attempts to gain insight into our emotions and behaviors through the cause and effect of our life experience. Rather, it asks us to open ourselves fully to the teachings of the present. We do this with as much honesty as we are capable of, attempting to come face to face with tendencies toward denial, avoidance, or rationalization. As we face ourselves in the present, and with the help of God's light, we simultaneously learn more and recall more about how we have been and who we have been in the past. Memories and associations begin to surface, both from this lifetime and from others, that help us form a clearer picture of how we arrived at this present moment.
The point of being present is that it is the domain in which all healing can take place. It is also the domain in which we can have the deepest conversation with God. We do not need to consciously remember all of our embodied life experience, especially that which has occurred in previous lifetimes. We can trust that what we need to know will be revealed to us in time without intellectual effort on our part. The grace of God, operating in this way to provide us with the teaching we need to have at the appropriate time, is the great blessing of a life held in the context of purification. Our effort is to trust that all that we need to know will be given to us as thoughts, feelings, relationships, and events. Our effort is to wait in trust.
Enduring through time and difficulty
As we allow Divine unfoldment to take place we begin to notice recurring themes in our lives. These themes are ongoing despite whatever level of insight we may have attained. They are indicators of where we still most need to purify. That these patterns repeat more and more clearly is a gift to us, a reflection of our dedication to the process of purifying on the most core level. Our intentionality and commitment bring to us all that needs healing over and over again if need be, until we see it in the clear light of consciousness.
When lessons are repetitive we need to maintain confidence in ourselves and appreciation of ourselves that comes from knowing that we are learners, making every effort to glean new insight from each available opportunity. The successful outcome of our effort is assured, even though at any point we do not know how long our efforts must take. Thus, we persevere with trust and hope and this gives us the endurance to continue in the face of ongoing difficulties.
Facing core truth in this way can lead us to a 'dark night of the soul'4 in which it is difficult to see a positive outcome of our efforts and difficult to maintain hope. As we move through this dark night it is most important that we stay self-loving and not self-blaming. It is also essential that we remember, again and again, that all of life is a healing and that all returns us to the oneness. Regardless of what we uncover, we will come to know ourselves as pure and blameless children of God.
A desirable outcome of this Fourth Principle is the feeling of gratitude that becomes possible. Suffering takes its toll, but there are hidden gifts that are made available to us as a result of our pain. The paths that we walk upon, painful or not, are strewn with blessings. We may not consciously appreciate this today but one day we will see the evidence of God's work in our lives. Gratitude also emerges from the understanding that our personal healing is more than personal. Since all lives intersect with each other what we learn for ourselves becomes transmissible to others and, in fact, is shared with others without our knowing how or when. This insight into the fact that our individual work helps heal the planet can help us feel more willing to endure difficulty as we go along. Seeing our work as an act of service can strengthen us and support our commitment.
The wonder of purification as a way of being is the discovery that God's grace is present at all times. When we succeed in going beyond our fears and sense of limitation we find ourselves expanding in love and light. What makes life in the present different from what it was before is our shift in perspective. Instead of seeing ourselves as limited we begin to view ourselves as limitless. We recognize God within life as our greatest teacher and ourselves as willing learners. In this way, we move through all difficulty with an attitude of trust and truthfulness. In the midst of pain and in the midst of grace, we allow our hearts to be open and the reality of who we are to expand within us.
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"For we are as eternal as the essence of the rose, and each moment of our lives has a particular quality that is equally unique and precious. Each moment, viewed from the standpoint of timelessness, has the jewel of the beautiful and the perfect within it – even within a prison, even with the prisons of our minds."
Teaching the Heart to Sing