Ever Here, Always Now

    Larry Krantz:  Greetings everyone. I am pleased to say a few words before we hear from our wise friend, John Gray.

    A story came to mind that I heard long ago, out of the Eastern tradition. It tells of a young man from a wealthy family who felt something missing from his life, despite all that he had, and became a spiritual seeker. Many of us have had a similar experience, seeking greater understanding in a world that makes little sense. In meditation, this young man had a vision that he would soon meet his teacher, the one to guide him to transcendent understanding, and that his teacher would be traveling across their territory. At that time, a prince was traversing their country going from his winter palace to his summer grounds.

    The young man rode to the Prince's wagon train and was greeted with great courtesy since he was of high birth. He assumed the Prince or one of his educated advisers must be his teacher, since they were the leaders. It was what he expected, given his upbringing, yet found them to be surprisingly shallow and selfish. Although disappointed, he persevered. He spoke to the military personnel—the generals and officers guarding the wagons. Here, too, he was disappointed, finding these men to be coarse and mean. He also spoke with the support staff, but found their worlds narrow and small. The young man concluded the vision must have been wrong and stopped for a meal to sustain himself for his journey home. As he ate, a great and wonderful peace enveloped him. He looked up and saw the kindly countenance of a cook's assistant, whose eyes were like beacons of light.

    He had found his teacher—in the most unlikely place! Soon, he was in the kitchen peeling onions and cutting carrots—tasks he would have considered beneath him only days before, which was humbling. He progressed in spiritual understanding and eventually became an enlightened teacher with many students. And, he learned how to cook!

    This young man saw past the form of things, to discern spiritual stature, to see the expressed reality of the cook's helper. We live in a world where positions of leadership: presidents and politicians, and religious figures of all kinds—claim to know the right direction for everyone else, but they are false prophets. Short-sightedness and partial views lead to problems of all kinds, including conflicts of various sorts. Many of these leaders are spiritual children who offer misdirection and confusion. It does no good to be angry over the silliness of this topsy-turvy world, for it is the blind leading the blind. We forgive them, for they know not what they do. But, if the world is to change, children need to grow up, to become spiritual adults, who know oneness with the Source, and can point the way to the North Star. Such people are out there, and are in here today, even if unseen by the rest of the world. After all, who would expect a cook's assistant to know enlightenment!

    Little has changed in the thousands of years since that story took place, other than the appearance of things. We may wonder why the state of affairs is so stuck, why children almost invariably follow the beliefs of their parents, walking in their footsteps, practicing the same religion, taking on the same political, social, and moral views. I think it is because children are totally immersed in their parents' worlds and attitudes are impressed on unprotected subconscious minds. Later, when mental function kicks into gear, the mind justifies and rationalizes what has already been implanted. And, on it goes, from generation to generation, unless, some have the courage to leave the well-trodden path and begin to think for themselves and see the world with new eyes.

    The external world is temporary. Even our own bodies have time limits. What is lasting and eternal is spirit, which can be known now, and in every now. Each of us focuses our world, but we are part of a grand design, much bigger than oneself. We may go through life without accolades or notice, much as the cook's assistant. It is of no concern. No need to judge our roles or the part we play. There is One who is much greater, whom we love. In humility, we play our parts in this eternal drama, as it unfolds before our eyes. When we reveal the attitudes and ways of our Lord, we are one with Him, and know a world beyond the outer form of things. In that way, we walk a new path, which is open to all mankind, and let the light of understanding shine round about.

    John Gray:  Thank you, Larry. Spirit endures, indeed!

    I'm guessing you probably know the wonderful gift and blessing of The Great Cosmic Story—thank you, David Barnes, for this blog! David regularly posts transcripts of Uranda's and Martin's words, which he selects with fine tonal sensitivity.   https://greatcosmicstory.blogspot.com

    Most of us connected by phone today knew Martin Cecil, though it's now approaching 30 years since he last breathed and spoke with human voice. Far fewer are still around who knew Uranda when he was in form until 1954, though Pamela is one who has childhood memories of him, of his kind but strong manner, and of his gaze that went right through her soul. She was with her mother, Dorothea McCann, at home in Lisbon, Iowa, and remembers vividly when the long-distance phone call came with news of Uranda's plane crash that August day.

    These great ones left us transcripts of their many talks—upwards of 7,000 of them—and, according to Dorian Black, there are some recordings that have never been transcribed. The millions of words contained in these services and classes far exceed the number of words in the Bible as it has come down to us. Grace Van Duzen used to refer to the collected archives of Uranda's and Martin's prolific expoundings as, "The Third Testament." They might be seen as composing a whole new bible, far larger than the traditional one and with no extraneous material!

    Taken together—the unadulterated portions of the Bible plus Uranda's and Martin's words delivered over some 52 years—the magnitude of these word-gifts is as the number of stars in a clear night sky. And these are just the words. In the last verse of the book of John, 21:25, the disciple John states, "And there are many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written."

    All of us are older and presumably wiser than we used to be. I well remember my younger years of unlimited enthusiasm but, as I see things now, somewhat immature understanding. I am forever thankful for all the invisible guidance I received! What is the significance today of all these wonderful words to which we have been and are privileged to access?

    I'll tell a little story I think is relevant. Years ago, Pamela and I attended a Spanish language school in Mexico. The school's approach to teaching a second or third language was essentially a sped-up version of the way we learned our native tongue. We began by listening to, and then mimicking, the sounds of the language, without regard to the meanings of words. There was no translation back into English. Pretty quickly we began to develop an ear for the tones and rhythms of Spanish. After some time it was like humming along with the music and mouthing a few lyrics, and the Spanish words began to make direct sense because they fit the music. I never memorized vocabulary, but somehow the words that sounded right were just there. This was a total immersion school, and we stayed in the home of a Mexican family that spoke only Spanish.

    I don't want to belabor the story, but apply it to the question I raised earlier. Most of us on the phone today were drawn, back along the way, to participate in a full immersion spiritual expression language school, right? For years I listened with all my heart. I was permeated by the music, the true tone, of spirit. My whole being sang with it. I felt made new by the Word. I still do.

    Here are two favorite verses, the 10th and 11th, from the 55th chapter of Isaiah:

    "For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it to bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

    "In the beginning was the Word..." begins the book of John. The whole, holy pattern was and is established on earth, and it has been since the beginning of the world. When heaven and earth separated in the experience of human beings—the Biblical fall, which was the descent of human consciousness out of oneness with its own source—the complete divine pattern remained established, but out of sight and mostly out of the reach of human beings.

    Myriad people sense the nearness of something---perhaps most everyone feels a vague but unknown presence, if only now and then. At least in childhood, if not ongoing, people may be aware of their own specialness and nobility of character, something transcendent and mysteriously thrilling. This is all too commonly forgotten as time passes, or maybe written about poetically, or remembered as if it had been just a misty fantasy. Of course humans can behave diabolically; no one has to point out the evils in the world. But so many bring light into the world through imagination, creativity, ingenuity, and artistry of many kinds. I wonder how many talented and exceptional people know the real source of their own genius, however.

    Human beings sense something, but even if believed to be more than a dream, this elusive something seems to the human mind and heart to be elsewhere, in another time and place---certainly not here, and not now. Some believe they'll get there after they're dead. Well, you know, you can't get there from here. The only way to know "there" is for there to be here.

    The Master taught us to pray, "...Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven." The Word sounds, bringing the kingdom in earth as it is in heaven, and the word does not return to the King void. Rare—indeed, extremely rare—are those who truly know the oneness of heaven and earth and live in that state while in human form. Perhaps only one in all post-Eden human history manifested the absolute, total completeness of this true state, because only the Lord of Lords is the single, ultimate focus of this whole, holy world. A few have known His spirit sufficiently while in form to thus come to know their own true, spiritual selves by letting heaven come on earth.

    Most of us sharing this time together right now in this way, knew one such in the person of Martin. The One—and please hear the capital "O"—whom we knew as Martin, was and is here. When I first visited Sunrise Ranch in 1968, Martin's As of a Trumpet had just been published. On the flight back home I read and re-read this little book. I've no idea how many times I've read it in the past 49 years, but the pages of my original copy are falling out of their binding now. The words, however, are ageless.

    You may recall the opening sentences. Listen:

    "I am the Voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!

    "The paths of men are dark and devious. Some walk deliberately in them, others ignorantly. There is a straight path and a right way. Those who long to find it shall hear my voice."

    And on page 3:

    "My voice sounds in the earthly wilderness which is the tangled man-made world. Let all with ears to hear hearken to my word and to the living spirit which is the substance of it. Come near unto me." The source of that voice is no longer with us in human form, but "the living spirit, which is the substance of it" is here, ever inviting—-indeed compelling—-any who hear to "come near."

    A few days ago David Barnes posted on The Great Cosmic Story, Martin's "The Way of the Master," a transcript of a service Martin gave in April, 1974. Martin opened with an insight about past and present:

    "As we share a perspective view of the outworking of the creative cycles over the last four thousand years we discover that time ceases to separate. We might for a moment consider what occurred nineteen-hundred years ago, when our Master was here. As we have looked at those events and at what it was He actually brought, does it seem like it was separated from us by nineteen centuries? One might almost say that it occurred yesterday, and the same thing is true when we look even further back, because our concern has been to¬†refocalize the truth¬†as the truth was present then. But it is also present now.

    "If we look at the events that occurred in the external sense, all the failures, the troubles, the difficulties, all these things, then that was a very long time ago; but the truth that was present, the truth which could have permitted a victorious outworking in the First Sacred School, is just as surely present now as it was then. So the intervening time vanishes when we are polarized in the truth. If we are polarized in historical events, then that was way, way back."

    Martin spoke those words over 40 years ago. Is that "way, way back" to us? Or is it now?

    Recordings of Martin's voice, photographic and video images of his appearance, his many, many words available in readable forms, as well as our personal memories, may serve as reminders in our consciousnesses of his real and present spirit, of this Being of great magnitude. I think of his and Uranda's words not as memorials of truth uttered in the past, but as apertures through which spiritual presence streams, now and now and now. This is the living word which does not return unto the Lord void.

    Mildly paraphrasing what Martin said in the 1974 service excerpt I read, when we are polarized in a historical perspective, time seems long and linear; when we are polarized in the truth, it's all now. Likewise with space: what seem to be enormous distances to the dimensional mind are, when seen in the light of truth, suddenly—as in right now!—suddenly understood as simply here.

    We're told light travels really, really fast. Distances between heavenly bodies are estimated in light-years. But what if light as we think we understand it is actually a conductor through which spirit becomes dimensionally manifest? Is, then, the light we see from a distant star in the past? Or are we in reality connected everywhere in the Now, through the omnipresent light-substance medium of cosmic connection?

    Let's not fry our cerebral neurons over that! It is futile to try to grasp this sort of stuff conceptually, but we can let ourselves relax into attunement in the here and now and thus sense, then know, we are part of—-indeed, one with—the cosmic all-that-is. It's who we are that transforms the world. Who we are is primary, and whatever we accomplish follows. We all have accomplishments, some achievements and successes, along with a few flops. Ever wish you would have done more, or feel you should do more? Such rueful beliefs might show up more the older our bodies become. This is such a limited interpretation, an earth-bound self-image, evidence of what Uranda and Martin variously called "false identity." The compulsion I predominantly move with these days is to be more: to be more fully present, to fill every moment and every circumstance with my presence. This continually alters and lifts the world of my experience, and who knows what else it does?

    The last chapter of As of a Trumpet begins with these two sentences:

    "Lift up your eyes and see the truth that makes you free. Hear and understand the word that has been spoken to you."

    We may know with certainty that the paths of the Lord have been made straight, and the way is open. Let's reside where doubt cannot abide, and be the blessing we came on earth to be. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Mat. 5:8)

(Comment following the talk)

    Pamela Gray:  Thank you, Larry, for starting our time together with an emphasis on humility; it is so vital! And John, how I loved your speaking, and reading those precious, precious words. The Word not returned void is why I live. I am so thankful for the spiritual training, the spiritual remembrance that we've been privileged to know. And we're still here! We're still here serving together.

    It's interesting, when I hear people that say to me, "Oh, you're still here." I haven't gone anywhere! He hasn't gone anywhere. The Word has not gone anywhere. The Word of I Am is still—so still that distractions around are not going to disturb me. I am still here. This is my assignment, and I'm on it. I am so thankful to be part of this great Spiritual Body, this vast incarnation.

June 11, 2017

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