March 17, 2019
Body of the Messiah
John Gray: You may be familiar with the story, The Rabbi's Gift. It's a fable said to be of unknown origin. I was reminded of it recently and looked it up. The version I'm about to read is a synopsis drawn from the writings of M. Scott Peck:
"The story concerns a monastery that had fallen on hard times. There were only five monks left, an abbot and four others, and they were all getting up in years.
"In the dense woods surrounding the monastery there was a small hut that a rabbi from a nearby town occasionally used as a hermitage. Despairing the future of the monastery, the abbot went to see the rabbi to seek his advice. The abbot and the rabbi enjoyed their visit commiserating about their circumstances and praying together. When the time came for the abbot to leave, he asked the rabbi, 'Is there anything you can tell me? Any advice that might help me save my dying order?' The rabbi replied, 'No, I'm sorry. The only thing I can tell you is one of you is the Messiah.'
"The abbot returned to the monastery and the monks asked him what the rabbi had said. The abbot told them that while the rabbi was kind, he couldn't offer help. 'As I was leaving however,' related the abbot, 'he said something very unusual: 'One of you is the Messiah.'
"In the days and weeks and months that followed, the old monks pondered this and wondered if there was significance to what the rabbi had said. 'The Messiah is one of us? How could that be?' They each thought that they were far too ordinary to be the Messiah. But as they continued to contemplate, the monks began to treat each other with extraordinary respect on the off chance that one of them might be the Messiah. And on the off, off chance that each monk himself might be the Messiah, they began to treat themselves with extraordinary respect.
"As time went by, people living in the vicinity of the monastery began visiting to picnic, to walk the paths nearby, and to sit quietly in the old chapel. Without being conscious of it people sensed the aura of extraordinary respect that surrounded the five old monks and seemed to radiate out from them and permeate the atmosphere of the place. There was something attractive about it, and more people began coming back more often, and bringing friends to this special place. And their friends brought their friends. A few younger men began having deep conversations with the monks. After a while, one asked if he could join them. Then another. And another. Within a few years the monastery once again became a thriving order and a center of light and spirituality in the realm. All this was thanks to the rabbi's gift."
One of you is the Messiah. Messiah is a Hebrew word which translates to English as anointed. The word anoint— literally "to smear with oil"—has come to mean consecrated, made holy, sanctified. Oil represents love in biblical symbolism, and God is love.
This fable is usually recited as an "and-they-lived-happily-ever-after" story. After all, as the monks treated each other and themselves with extraordinary respect, the monastery came back to life. But the monks were the same people with their idiosyncrasies and personality traits, both before and after. What changed? The wise rabbi's declaration, 'one of you is the Messiah' cut through the monks' deception. They'd been convinced that their little order was dying. The rabbi's real gift was to startle them out of that mental model—to propel them to understand that how they'd been seeing themselves and the situation wasn't necessarily the way it was. Each monk's accepting the possibility that the rabbi was right fractured the monk's stuck state of delusion and deception, and through the cracks new light shone. Things were revealed to be quite different from what they'd previously believed. What changed was how they saw themselves and one another, and seeing both in new light changed everything else. When they opened their hearts and minds to the possibility of being the Messiah they began acting as messiahs.
When I was a boy too little to ride a two-wheeled bicycle, I nevertheless knew it was possible to ride a bike because I saw older kids doing it. When you and I were spiritual youngsters we knew little of angelic identity, but we sensed that the experience of whatever it is, was possible because we saw its evidence in others. My dad taught me to ride a two-wheeler, not by doing it for me but by encouraging my confidence that I could do it. He also held the back of the seat while I learned to get a feel for balancing and moving forward! Later, as a young adult, I found another sort of father—or he found me—who encouraged and had confidence that I could be my true self in expression, and he figuratively held the back of the seat while I learned balance and how to creatively move forward toward freedom from the deception of a false identity.
As angelic beings in human form we are anointed—we are each a messiah, in truth. And together with a whole host more, we form the collective body of the Messiah on earth. This is the real second coming of Christ. Treating one another with extraordinary respect is important, essential even, but it's like learning to ride a bicycle. Just as the point of becoming proficient in riding a bike was so we could go places, coming spiritually into our own is for the purpose of being somewhere, and the "somewhere" is in heaven on earth here and now.
These are the times and seasons we incarnated to participate in together. Many of us have had plenty of preparation, humanly speaking. We may sense a wonderful drawing together of forces and factors taking place, reflected in the gathering of forever-friends who elect to play our ordained parts in the expression of the one spirit on earth. Two weeks ago, Larry spoke allegorically about clearing clutter and making room for the new. There is something new coming down from God out of heaven through human beings in whom there is room enough to receive it.
"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." [Matthew 5:8] The statement doesn't suggest that it's to be at some other time and somewhere else. To the degree our hearts are pure we see the divine everywhere and in everyone, now here.
The heart, our means of feeling perception, permeates our bodies, minds and spiritual expression capacities. The large majority of mind is below the conscious surface, and part of this subconscious function is memory. An aspect of having a pure heart is an uncluttered memory. By that I don't mean some sort of total recall—there's a lot of irrelevant stuff in there that's best forgotten. No, it's a matter of letting the light of spirit penetrate to the depths so we see clearly what we think we remember.
Response to spirit invites and permits the purification of the heart, including the subconscious mind. This is referred to in the Bible as the coming of the Holy Ghost. This sanctifies memory, among other things. Memory then lightens up. It becomes unstuck, with no sweat or dumpster diving required! Pure minds are stirred to true remembrance.
I have a frequent experience which may serve as an example, something I bet many can relate to. When I re-read a transcript of a talk, any talk, given by former spiritual mentor Martin Cecil in the 1970s and 80s especially, I always find myself understanding something in a new way. "Oh, that's what that means! Where was I at the time? I didn't see that before." I may even have been in the room when he spoke the words originally! Re-reading or re-hearing them now is always with new eyes and new ears. This new perception is of far more than the words themselves, of course; the spirit that birthed them moves my heart, stirring remembrance. The words may have been uttered long ago, but the spirit that gives them life is doing so now.
Ill spirits like fear and shame keep much of the deeper subconscious stuck in a state of unholy clutter. It may be easy to notice evidence of this when looking at the state of human beings in general, but that understanding isn't of much import until it's applied personally. Remember the time when such and such a thing happened to you personally, or when he or she or they did or said thus and so? We can fill in our own details. When I become aware of anything like that arising and hanging around, I arrest it and take it in for questioning! Is that really so? Was it actually that way? Most of the time the right answer to those questions is, so what? Eyewitness accounts are only as valid as the vision and interpretation of the eyewitness at the time, anyway. The colorations of human nature stain perceptions and memories of events, making witness false. It probably wasn't really the way we thought it was back when it happened, but who cares? And now, more importantly, let's recognize that even if it did come to pass, it didn't come to stay. My wise friend in South Africa, Louise Broomberg, said to me recently, "Forgiveness means giving up all hope of having a better past." It also frees our bodies and minds and hearts from a prison of self-deception.
The whole human world is deceived. The deceiver is false identity—the self that believes itself separate from the whole of life. It's a grand illusion, and a persistent one. Many, but still a relative few, have been journeying out of that state in recent decades. To the extent we know that, we may count ourselves parts of the collective body of the Messiah on earth. We also know we've not come to be where we are today because of our own or anyone's great human efforts, so there's no point dislocating our shoulders trying to pat ourselves on the back about it!
Here's a concise description of what has been and is happening in heaven on earth: "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." [Matthew 24:31] This is what we are here for—it's what we've been participating in.
Who are the elect? Those who elect to respond to the spirit of God, those who elect to accept, consequently, what Larry called vibrational governance. We stop electing our own brand of self-rule and elect to accept the already existing design of cosmic government. Anything else maintains the illusory state and the collective insanity that we see all around.
The other day I was listening to a BBC news commentator speaking about the British Parliament and the chaos around Brexit. I loved the term she used to describe that situation: "Peak bonkers." Indeed, the whole human condition is peak bonkers, and I'm sure it hasn't peaked! At least we haven't blown ourselves up. Yet, anyway.
It's no surprise that there's so much disagreement everywhere, so much discord among people. In this insane state there's no ground for agreement to be found. That meeting place, that "upper room," is known only as pure hearts re-create the holy place on earth. That is what we are doing together.
So, what should the elect be up to these days? How do messiahs behave? The collective, global answers to those big questions come clear as we do what is ours to do on the microcosmic level. It's a new day. I don't think gathering the elect today means what it might have to some of us in the past. The word "day," by the way, has a root that means shining —presumably related to the period of sunlight experienced in a given spot on the earth as the planet rotates on its axis. We remember that in the biblical fourth creative day the sun and the moon and the stars become visible in the heavens because the veil of deception dissolves.
The rabbi in the fable was right, more than he knew. Maybe he could have said, "Together we form the Messiah," but I doubt that would have had the same effect on the monks. It's been a journey to get to the level of clarity we each now know, and the journey obviously isn't over. The word "journey" has a relatedness to the word "day." In modern French, jour means day, and it comes from an older root meaning "a day's traveling" or "a day's portion."
Today's portion is the same as yesterday's and tomorrow's: to hold steady; to let not our hearts be troubled, neither be afraid, no matter how insane the world gets; and to love one another regardless of anything. Let's be not deceived. As deception falls away, what's real and true is revealed. It's been with us all along. In this day it is being restored to our awareness. Rejoice!
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