Table of Contents
Principles of Sacred Consciousness
Sixth Principle of Personal Transformation
With God's help, to uphold our part of the Covenant by sanctifying our human lives.
Purity as a way of being
As we seek to realize our true nature in God's likeness we recognize the need to bring our lives into greater balance. This new balance must be created by shifting our current overemphasis on 'doing' to a fuller experience of 'being.' For it is in being that we realize our Divine essence and contact the deeper levels of innocence, love, and trust within us. These qualities are the outflow of the purity and goodness at our core and are part of our Divine inheritance.
The imbalance between doing and being is an expression of our shared experience of separation from God. This separation and its internalized doubt that God is real has been with us for a long, long time. In the course of living many lifetimes in separation we have accumulated coping mechanisms and ways of being in life that do not reflect the truth of our reality as souls.
One of these, the overemphasis on being productive, has tended to limit our identities. Through compulsively keeping busy in an effort to feel special or superior we have become distracted from the difficult feelings that emerge when we are alone – from our imperfections, our loneliness, our limitations, our longing for God. In our focus on doing and on the external we have lost an essential part of ourselves. In order to rectify this situation we need to recover the vision of ourselves as souls, souls involved in a dance with life in which life may be seen as an expression of God.
The history of looking outside ourselves for validation has caused us to rise to the surface of ourselves, accepting more superficial standards of worthiness such as physical beauty or material wealth, or finding ourselves attracted to power, not in order to serve but for the sake of power alone. These standards were not created by us individually, though they may be accepted or reinforced by us. They are given to us by a culture that has experienced itself as separated from God for a very long time. As we follow these external standards of how to be, we are further split off from our own inner sense of the way to live life. Questions regarding the nature of right action or how to bring our innate truthfulness and goodness into each moment, become more mystifying.
Yet in the midst of these cultural pressures, expectations, and standards it continues to be possible to hear the still, small voice within us that is the voice of truth and of uprightness. This voice calls to us to live a life of purity in an impure world. It calls to us to follow the dictates of our soul's longing for God as a guide to right action and not the dictates of convention or social pressure. It calls us to purity, to our God-given inner capacity to know the truth and to follow it – to our God-given inner ability to perceive that which is good and to become it.
Purity is the core of who we are, the expression of the fundamental life-force within us stripped clean of our fears, doubts, and needs to please others. Purity is the freedom to be ourselves in the image and likeness of God.
Transcending the ego and human conditioning
As we move toward the purity at the deepest levels of our being we shed layers of fear and doubt. We shed conditioned expectations and false perceptions of who we are. These false perceptions begin to separate out and to fall away like layers of an onion being peeled. As each layer of falseness or wrong-action is uncovered to our awareness we may experience distress or pain. Yet there is also gratitude that a layer of greater truthfulness can be seen underneath, and that we can therefore make progress toward greater integrity of self-expression in our lives.
Often past attempts to free ourselves of impurities have failed and we have wondered why. The reason for the persistence of certain traits or patterns of behavior lies in the nature and function of our ego. This ego is the part of our identity that came into being to serve us while we endured the forgetting of our true essence. Its job is to successfully manage life in a separated world. The ego evaluates how best to fulfill personal desires, how to get needs met, how to preserve self-esteem in threatening situations, and sometimes how to preserve life itself. In purifying ourselves we must teach the ego how to bend to the higher will that moves us. This higher will seeks not only our own good, but the good of all. It teaches us to receive the lessons of life with humility and love and not to perpetuate an attitude of embattlement or ego-dominance in relation to life experience.
The shift from ego-dominance to ego-submissiveness with respect to Divine will cannot be made on the psychological level alone through correct thought or through positive mental affirmations, though these can be helpful. For the roots of these ego-patterns are ancient and exist within our unconscious minds and bodies. There they remain as memories of attempts to successfully survive on the planet – mentally, emotionally, and physically. These memories create conditioned responses to need states as they arise within us, need states that have been managed by the ego throughout time.
In order to change our relationship to these need states, two things are needed: active attunement to messages of love and truth coming from our soul or higher-self, and receptivity to the experience of God's light coming to us from without and from within. The first concerns our intention to purify and to listen to the voice of our soul communicating God's will. The second involves our willingness to receive God's light through meditation and prayer, through association with others in an atmosphere of light, or through grace alone. How this transition occurs will differ from person to person, yet these two things are needed so that the ego can assume its rightful place in the Divine order within.
As we move through this transition it becomes possible to bring new consciousness to old belief systems. These belief systems must be dealt with patiently and gently, recognizing that they once served a useful purpose for us and cannot be let go of easily. As we confront these older systems, whether they are expressed as a character defect, a troublesome behavior, a false or limiting picture of ourselves, or an energetic block, it is important to stay mindful of the core of who we are. We do this by not identifying with the old pattern of who we were, holding the understanding that it is no longer necessary to pursue that line of thinking. We let go of the old pattern by continuing to face ourselves honestly.
All aspects of our lives that carry the energy of darkness and that represent wrong turns we have taken on the path to wholeness need to be met with honesty, yet with compassion and self-forgiveness, as well. Our prior mistakes need to be observed and held in an atmosphere of non-judgment as we correct our errors and ask for healing. Always, we must turn to God for help in our healing process to accomplish what we cannot do through our effort alone.
Having all of life be in God
Sanctifying our lives6 is not dependent on outer circumstance but on inner awareness. It is a matter of soul readiness and soul purpose that, together, create the situational opportunities for living a life in God. The particular challenge and opportunity that each of us is presented with at any point in time will be specific to our individual needs for spiritual growth and healing and is a matter of being able to perceive and to learn from what life presents to us. Although each of our paths is unique, the way of purification holds universal truths which enable us to unfold greater consciousness and love, simply by responding to life itself.
The possibility for living life in a purer way, in a more sacred way, exists in every moment – in illness, in loss, and even in death. As we grow we develop the awareness that God's mercy and love are everpresent. Life seen in this way becomes purposeful, filled with the meaning of each experience. It also becomes joyful, with a newfound sense of safety and trust replacing the sense of fear and worry that we have lived with for so long.
Becoming fully receptive to life's sacredness is often a gradual process, one in which the experience of God's Presence within life becomes more and more apparent as it manifests through the flow of ordinary events. As fears and attachments loosen, we let go of conditioned attitudes and roles we have felt compelled to play and become freer to respond to all of life with our true selves. This freedom to be ourselves is defined by our participation in each moment and by the quality of heart and mind we bring to it. Within each moment's experience we become free to learn and grow, to change with each encounter, to operate freely and fluidly as the continually evolving sacred beings that we are.
In the course of one day's living many decisions arise that need to be made. These decisions can be made from the perspective of who we were taught we were or who we thought we should be, or they can be based on the sense of truth that each of us carries within. Our daily choices, both small and large, can become increasingly based on God's will for us as it unfolds within our awareness and on our growing sense of purpose for being here on the earth.
The more we learn to follow our inner guidance the simpler our lives become. The pressure and stress of living an outer-directed life dissolves as we slow down and focus solely on what is before us and what is within us. As we accept the perfection of life in each moment we naturally move in rhythm and harmony with all of life and many things become easier.
When all of life is lived in God then that part of our life that concerns our bodies and our physical existence must also be sanctified. Living a purified life entails healing our unconsciousness in relation to our bodies, as well as our hearts and minds. We begin with an active process of cleansing and nourishing the body through a diet based on natural foods and an elimination of toxic substances. By choosing to nourish ourselves carefully and with respect we begin to heal the damage done during years and lifetimes of lack of care. Cleansing the body can take many forms but attention to the food that we eat and to the level of health we maintain are basic parts of it.
The purification of body, heart, and mind can take place simultaneously or there can be a primary focus on one area and then another. Eventually all must be made whole and all must be made holy, so that our lives can reflect sacredness in every action, word, and thought.
Fulfilling our sacred pledge to become a holy people
The sanctifying of our human lives is a sacred aspect of our Covenant7 with God – a Covenant in which we pledge to love and serve God as a holy people, and God promises to uphold us in all that we do. Readiness to fulfill our commitment is demonstrated by the way in which we live each moment of our human experience. This Covenant embodies two acts of faithfulness: an act of faithfulness on God's part toward that which He has created, and an act of faithfulness on our parts as we strive to embody the standards of goodness and purity that are being asked of us.
It is the longing to live more of life in God that opens our vision to those areas of our lives still in need of purification. This is not an easy process, for we must face the consequences of our experience of separation again and again witnessing our feelings of powerlessness, shame, self-judgment, and hopelessness. The expanding love within us, however, as we rediscover God's presence in life becomes the motivating force that enables us to go to ever-deepening levels of purification.
With each face-to-face encounter with an emotion or behavior that is not worthy of a sacred being we pause and allow space for healing. Closing the eyes and taking deep breaths helps us to go within to the place of self-love and self-forgiveness. With the assistance of our higher selves we release shame and self-judgment, and with gentleness, compassion, and love acknowledge that we have survived past circumstances the best way we knew how. Asking God to assist us in healing our limitations and to reveal to us new and better ways of coping will help change these longstanding forms of unconsciousness.
As we trust God more we can also trust the unfoldment of our process more, avoiding both the pitfall of thinking that we have arrived at a spiritual goal when we have not, and the pitfall of feeling excessively discouraged when the need states we seek to heal seem to remain unchanged. A productive attitude to hold in the midst of this is one of hope – hope which affirms that one day we will no longer need to operate with the deficits or limitations that we presently feel. This focus on incremental progress rather than perfection, will help us to stay open to the possibility of further healing.
Where we focus our attention at any point in time is a matter of trust and of surrender. We remind ourselves that God is overseeing our healing process and that the exact point of focus that will maximize our return to wholeness and purity will be shown to us if we are available to life in each moment. The extent to which we can stay spiritually awake and receive the teaching of each moment, is the extent to which we can become direct participants in sanctifying our lives and in upholding our part of the Covenant.
The spiritual practices of prayer, meditation, and alignment become aids to us in the process of making our lives sacred. As we practice centering ourselves in our hearts we more easily access the hope and commitment that can sustain us as we wait for changes to occur in our outer and inner lives. By doing what we can without becoming controlling or fearful, by learning to wait patiently and with an attitude of self-love, by expressing gratitude for what has already occurred in our spiritual transformation, we anchor our commitment to God and to the Covenant at the most profound levels of our being.
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"To act in the consciousness of Love, even about the small things in one's day, recognizing all circumstances as coming from God and striving to feel the presence of the Divine Being while performing each action – this is to begin to live in the high state of consciousness that is naturally yours."
Teaching the Heart to Sing