Why is there a day and a night?Why did God create the Sun and Moon?It is the same reason that He created male and female, up and down, in and out, left and right, fire and water, air and earth and all opposites.The first reason is that without interaction, the self cannot know itself.If the self does not know what it is, it has no understanding of what it can become.
A more accurate translation of Genesis does not limit creation to a one time action; it is more accurately an ongoing process.So, we need to know that we are a self or an actor.To understand more clearly what we are, we must first know what we are not.For example, the only way to know that one is tall, is to know what is not tall.The way to know what a man is, we must know what a man is not.In this world of ours, it is through opposition that we understand the world that we live in and who we are.Light would have no meaning without dark, good would have no meaning with bad, nor joy without sorrow.It may be that “I think therefore I am”, but what I am requires a process of elimination.
It has been said that this is the only one of God’s schools that has ‘free will’.Immediately we know that if we have free will, then we must have choices.For those choices to make any difference in our evolution as souls, we must have within our makeup a part of ourselves that is attracted to one category of choices and another part of ourselves that is attracted to another.So, we are each born with an ego, which is materially directed.It is like the soul of the body.It would worship the things of the earth, if it came to feeling good, then it would choose things that appealed to the five senses.It would seek love in the form of attention and admiration from another or many others.Its god would be whatever the most powerful force in the world was.And it sees itself as alone and so seeks what is best for the self.
On the other side sits the spirit.This is our connection to God. The spirit knows God and seeks the joy that comes from God. It knows that we are all one and it finds its joy in giving and sharing with others.It is selfless and seeks the food that nourishes the spirit and brings us closer to God. So here the soul sits between the two voices and impulses. We live with the desire for God on one side and the desire for the things of the world on the other.Being in the physical body on the earth the easier voice to listen to is the voice of the ego. It is the soul, through the journey from life to life that learns to listen less to one and more to the other. It is the soul that learns through the choices made in deference to the ego or to the spirit. That choice, to choose between the two opposite pulls – that represents the souls free will on earth.
When the sages speak of the “dead” and the “tomb”, in reality they are referring to the soul entering the body. The body which exists for such a short time that it is considered dead. It is just like when a person is on death row and walking to the execution they say, “Dead man walking”.From the moment that we are born into this body we are walking towards the death of the body, in essence, we are dead men walking.When the spirit leaves the tomb of the body it is resurrected and returns to the spiritual plane that it emerged from, and the ego returns to the material world from which it came. It is difficult for the spirit to live on the material plane as it would be difficult for the ego to live on the spiritual plane.The ego would experience Heaven as hell, just as the spirit experiences the earth as hell.
These twins, the ego and the spirit are bound together because the soul cannot expel the ego. It is the engine that drives the vehicle that we need on earth.It cannot expel the spirit because the spirit is what supports the driver (soul) while it is the body (vehicle) on earth.The soul is the reason for the existence of both and our lives on earth are possible because of both.
There is no such thing as evil, because all that exists is God and all that is God is good.But let us digress for a moment.In my youth I was considered attractive.Men were initially drawn to my looks or my sexuality.The things that were on the surface, superficial, are still a part of me.I related to myself on the inside, my soul, my spirit, my heart.I felt that part of myself, my inner being as the greater part of who I was eternally.I did not feel loved, in fact I was not loved when men claimed love for me based upon what they saw on the outside, how I looked, or what I had.Those things were temporary, my looks would change – age, my financial status would fluctuate, they were of me, but they were not me.In the same sense, all of the things in the material world are of God, simply because there is no such thing as outside of God.But they are the temporary, transient things of God, not the true eternal parts of God.
The eternal parts of God have no form, and give to the heart and soul and not to the body or the ego.So the ego is tempted by what it can experience with its senses.
We depict Jesus the Christ as aesthetically beautiful. There is no way that he could have ever looked like the pictures that we see of him based upon his lineage and the fact that he and his family were able to hide in Egypt at the time that they did.He would have been very dark skinned with curly hair, there was no intermarriage at the time because there was no great migration from continent to continent.This image of Jesus aids the ability of many to worship him.Yet what I find the most disturbing is that most of the people who claim to love Jesus, love him because they believe that he died on the cross to erase their sins.To God, this is a sign of idol worship.To God, worshiping an action is no different than worshiping a statue. If we truly loved and believed in Jesus, we would follow in his footsteps, we would live our lives as he lived his.The Buddhists love and believe in the Buddha, and so they live their lives following the ways of the Buddha.If Christians truly loved, believed in and worshiped Jesus the Christ, the world would be a different place. There would be no inquisition, no crusades, no witch trials, no slavery, no judgment, to economic disparity, no withholding of health care, no prejudice and no poverty.The more wealth a Christian society had, the more it would have to give to the people.We do not worship Jesus as the Son of God, we do not worship Jesus, we worship the sacrifice that we interpret as having saved us from having to live the life of Jesus.
Satan saw this in Job.When God called together the Sons of God and Satan to show what an exemplary human being Job was, Satan immediately saw that Job loved and worshiped God because of the wonderful life that God had given him.Job followed the laws and did all of the things that were expected of him, but there was something in his love that was lacking.God gave Satan permission, in increments, to test Job until finally Job did turn against God.Eventually, after God spoke to Job, Job evolved from a superficial worship based upon what God did for him and the fear of what God could do to him, to a deep love and awe of God. This love was not conditioned on what Job wanted from God it was an unconditional love of God in all of His Majesty. Once Job was filled with the love of God without condition, God rewarded him with more than he had to begin with. However, by then, nothing that God could give to Job could increase the wealth that he had in the shadow of the true and deep love that he had for God.
I know many people who love Jesus, and do not believe that he died for their sins; they love Jesus for the same reason that the Buddhists love the Buddha; it is for the divine immeasurable love and compassion that pours from each of their hearts for all of God’s creatures.
In the Old Testament Satan is not the enemy of God, but the adversary of man, the tester.Satan tests our love for God, believing that if nothing else that we do is perfect, our love for God should be pure and, uncompromising.Jesus proved His to be so.Satan tempted Jesus just as he tempts all of us, with money, power, status – envy, hatred, prejudice, and judgment, all of the things that fuel the ego and deplete the spirit.Satan tests us because he is the last gate to pass through before God.He guards God against those whose love is not true.Religion is one of Satan’s biggest tools, because it can be used to divide and distract. Some religions cause our egos to be so devoutly attached and protective of our division, that we forget the One God we are supposed to be giving our devotion to.
I believe that we are moving in a direction to a new Christianity for the twenty-first century.It will be a religion that will carry us to the end of time. It will be made up of true Christians who will sell off all that they do not need beyond modest comfort, and give the excess to the poor.They will follow the Christ just as the Buddhists follow the Buddha, and there will be no discrepancy between the teaching of Jesus and actions of those who follow in his name.It could be called, “The Followers of the Living Christ”.This will be a religion that unites rather than divides, and embraces rather that excludes. It will be one that is defined by love, understanding, faith, forgiveness, humility and compassion – all of the qualities that defined the Christ himself.