July 22, 2018
Home, not Homesick
John Gray: I'd like to begin with a story.
A certain colleague and I in a business executives' group have known one another for over a decade, gradually becoming friends. "Murph," as he's known to many, chairs the group. He has a career reputation as a hard-driving chief operating officer of publicly traded companies and is known in this area as a successful "turn-around" guy. He is also a life-long, devout Roman Catholic. Last year, after a long period of study and preparation, he became a church deacon.
Murph and I meet for lunch from time to time, outside the executive group context. Sometimes he will have been pondering something from his church studies or from the Bible and want to talk about it. I am, of course, attentive to his religious convictions, but with careful word choices our conversations have been known to flow around obstacles in the stream and gently wash over more profound, or, perhaps I should say, more elevated, topics.
The last time we met he related something his mentor in the deacon program had said to him, talking about Jesus and the end of his ministry. It was, in essence, this: "The Lord came to be with us in person, and we killed him." That Jesus died on the cross to save humanity from sin is an unquestioned tenet of Murph's religious upbringing. His Roman Catholic mentor, in this off-the-record moment of personal insight, sent a seven-point-five tremor through Murph's foundation. It left him rattled and wondering. He wanted to talk about it. I listened. At one point in the conversation, a gem of Uranda's logic came to my mind, and I risked gently saying it into the opening of the moment. Paraphrasing Uranda, I said, "If it was really true that Jesus had to die, wouldn't Judas Iscariot be lauded the greatest saint of all time?"
After I said this, Murph blinked. I immediately started feeling something between "Ooops!" and "Oh, well..." It was as if I could see his neural synapses shorting out and overheating. His eyes glazed, he looked away, and after a pretty long pause he asked me how my grandkids were doing.
Notwithstanding internal earthquakes and fires, this won't be the last time Murph and I get together. We already have our next lunch meeting scheduled, in fact. But this interchange with him left me thinking, too.
What was it that took place twenty centuries ago and still, today, remains humanity's door to salvation?
If we recognize that Jesus the man embodied the divine being who is the Lord of Lords, the apex of God for this world and more, then in the individual human body of Jesus were essences of the whole of humankind and all of creation in this portion of the solar system. Given this, then what was done to Him, humanity was, in fact, doing to itself. If the body of Jesus had been killed, it would have been curtains for humankind. Billions of individual people have lived and died since—and here we all are now—but humanity lives. It suffers, but it still exists.
What was it that took place twenty centuries ago and still, today, remains humanity's door to salvation?
Holding that question on the drive home after meeting with Murph, my thoughts went to these words: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) Some assume Jesus was speaking about just the couple of guys who were to take his robe as he was being crucified. More people see these words as signifying a transcendent attitude of spiritual magnanimity and divine blessing toward all human beings. I think this latter interpretation is accurate as far as it goes but is incomplete. I also see it this way: At this crucial point and under what had to be extreme duress, the only One who could do so forgave all of humanity, present and future, for rejecting Him. This act is what left open the way to what may be called salvation, which occurs today as the Lord of Lords is received into His one collective body, whenever and wherever and in and through whomever that actually happens.
Some of us, maybe most who are part of this phone connection today, were associated with an organization called Emissaries of Divine Light, often abbreviated "EDL." On more than one occasion Martin Cecil likened EDL to a spiritual university. Within a university there may be a variety of colleges and diverse fields of study available, but the point, at least eventually, is that students graduate into the real world. The individual's student identity then passes away, replaced by someone more adult. Back in the day, most of us on the phone now and a few thousand more first met in this school. We have a common alma mater. That Latin term translates literally as, "bountiful, nourishing mother."
What Uranda, Martin, and others with them, provided so clearly and beautifully, and what formed over decades around them and us, certainly was and is bountiful and nourishing. I'm not promoting some sort of an alumnae association here but expressing my deep appreciation for all that's been accomplished in this current era. It is truly a privilege to be here, to play a part in it.
There are some who miss those old college days and even long to get the old gang back together. Many have pleasant memories. Nostalgia, it's called. Looking up the Greek root of that word, we find it literally means, "home sickness." But I cannot be homesick if I'm home! Those nourishing student days are long gone.
What if a really important part of the spiritual university experience for us was simply to meet and connect with one another in person? What if the "old gang" is together and has been all along? Despite our personal bodies aging, the "old gang" isn't old. And now, however many years later it may be, it's vital how we hold and regard one another in our hearts. All kinds of things may have happened back in school days—and not all of it divine, not all of it nourishing. Some people may still hold grudges and nurse old hurts! Now, though, being identified in the spirit of the body, the whole body, the Lord's body, how I regard every member of it—and especially those I know in person!—matters, I think, beyond words.
Let us love one another. Nothing of that past matters. Forgive. Let's express the purifying spirit of love through our own hearts, without reservation.
In 1987, in one of the last services Martin gave, he spoke of EDL, the organization, as being a door. His primary point, as I recall, is that doors are to walk through, not to be admired or worshipped. Doors, as universities, are ways to get somewhere new, into a new state of consciousness and experience.
I'm deeply grateful for the guidance and training offered to me in my youth—university guidance and door passage training, which all would mean nothing if I never moved through the EDL door or graduated from school. It is nothing short of miraculous, in my view that Uranda came into his own at a young age without the aid, apparently, of an external spiritual mentor. Martin had Uranda for some fourteen years as an external point of spiritual focus, as we used to put it. In a missive to friend David Barnes not long ago, I wrote, "When Martin's external point of focus returned to the invisible, the externally responsive part of Martin's expression became internalized as he assumed the radiant, positive role in and for the ministry as it had formed at that time and after. The building of a nuclear collective body was the task in focus at the time. Now here we are, these years later, with the same responsibility. For many of us, our external point of focus was Martin. When that being returned to the invisible over thirty years ago, it likewise required of each of us the internalization of response and the externalization of positive radiance. For some of us—and I include myself—it's taken many of those thirty years to make that transition! Now, the expression of the Lord's spirit through His body is the task in focus."
When Martin was physically around, he endeavored to dissuade people from looking to him to somehow be it all. He said, "How much do you, as an individual, still glance around to see if you can spot, somewhere or other, a spiritual leader of some kind who is going to achieve great things? A few thought they had him spotted in me. I have been at pains to disillusion those who have this view, because he who comes in the name of the Lord is not one person. The coming of one person was done nineteen centuries ago. All that could be accomplished has been accomplished by one person; and that one person was, indeed, a Supreme One. But no matter how Supreme He really was, and is, He could only do so much..."
And further, "...there is One who comes in the name of the Lord on earth, not one person but One Unified Body and Consciousness, by reason of which the spirit of God is in action within the body and consciousness of mankind. This is the One who has the authority. This is the One who provides the leadership. While we may see that that leadership, to be effective, must be a composite body, nevertheless it is a composite body because the individuals who compose it have taken responsibility for their own spiritual authority." ("Spiritual Leadership and Authority," Martin Cecil, October 7, 1979)
God speaks and acts on earth through His one composite body. The conscious members of that body share a consciousness of archangelic identity. Individual consciousness is the seat or place, or maybe we could call it the container, of personal identity. It is where we experience who we are. If the place is occupied by a usurper, the identity container is held hostage by an imposter. This is limiting terminology, however, because consciousness is living and dynamic, more of a verb than a noun. Although not the etymology of the word "devil"—the usurper, the liar, the adversary—I like to think of the word "devil" as a contraction of "do evil," emphasizing that devil is a behavior rather than an entity.
What I respond to with my mind and heart is attracted to and fills my mind and heart. Sounds like a law! And whatever fills my mind and heart tends to convince me of who I am. If what I respond to is fake, then I'm filled with fake news instead of the good news! Humanly speaking, the consistent direction of my response determines the sense of self that inhabits my conscious experience.
In this quiet, tranquil, substance-filled moment, we know that God being and human being occupy this same space and time, here and now. Being isn't over there or up here and the human separate and apart. Divine and human being occupy precisely the same space and time, in me, in you. "Someday" and "elsewhere" are illusory.
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (I. Corinthians 3:16)
Those who compose His body, know.
The Lord is in this holy place. The Word resounds through these words: The Lord is in this holy place.
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