John 8.31-59, Some insights into the obstacles of spiritual growth

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Jesus and the People, some insights from John 8.31-59

These next few posts are going to be a bit different than the devotional posts I have written lately. It will be expositional in nature dealing with the very important topic of spiritual growth and the obstacles we face on the road to Oneness with God.

The first obstacle: spiritual pride.

There are several ways to interpret what is going on here and each has its value in helping us to understand what John is relaying to us in the confrontation between Jesus and “the people”.

Verse 31 tells us these were “people who had faith in him.”

Taken literally we are confronted with an historical incident in the life of Jesus between a group of people who didn’t understand (v.43) what Jesus was saying (v.31 he wants to help his new believers get free.) or doing. There are accusations thrown back and forth; “the people” are demonizing someone who is threatening them and Jesus is returning their accusations. It is the typical argument of I’m right and you’re wrong with a loaded charge thrown in, of demon possession, from both sides. And quite frankly if I came upon a group of people arguing in this way I would just turn around and leave. Honestly these types of exchanges are nothing but the mudslinging of children throwing tantrums. But that is on the surface, the literal historical event which has been played out for centuries between any warring factions, with the inevitable result that one group will want to kill the other: v.59 “The people picked up stones to kill Jesus.”

In other words: “I’m right and you’re wrong and I’m gonna kill you for being ‘wrong’–i.e. not agreeing with me. If there is any lesson to be learned form this literal story it is things have not changed much over the eons that man has been on the planet. This is especially noticeable in the religious and political arenas. And much of the time there has not been the luxury of a separation between church and state as we have in the western influenced world.

“The people” here are the fruit of the religious leaders; the Sadducees and the Pharisees, Jesus’ usual antagonists. I have read that the literacy of the common people in Jesus’ day was maybe 10% and most of those were the religious leaders. What the people were defending were the things taught to them by their religious culture (at that time all the Hebrew culture was religious/political), they did not have the luxury of looking into the scriptures themselves. They were defending their entire world view taught to them, the Hebrew paradigm of the day.

I think it is important to point out that the Hebrew people and their leaders were not the enemy as some have tried to enlist Jesus in their hatred of another race—they just did not understand, this makes them a symbol for the entire human race, they didn’t know what they are doing. Jesus used many metaphors for their spiritual condition: blind, sick, ignorant, crippled, deaf. Jesus never tried to kill anyone and killing another in his name is my definition of taking the Lords name in vain.

Swedenborg pointed out that when we try to kill someones belief we are actually trying to kill that person because a persons faith is actually what keeps them alive. If you have ever seen anyone who has lost their faith you know what he means.

This is the first obstacle we face on the road to Oneness with God, found in those new to their beliefs (no matter how long one has been a believer). “My way is the right way and yours is not.” Our pride quickly gets in the way as the result of our insecurity, not being quite sure of this new way of thinking. Spiritual pride and self-righteousness will be the fruit of this insecurity if not quickly dealt with. And if it is fostered by those in leadership ones spiritual growth will be limited and after a while non-existent. Hatred will be the result and it will be easy to find targets for those wanting an outlet for their anger. See verse 44.

Well there is so much more in these verses beyond the literal and I will get to them in the following posts. For now it will be good to remember My way is the right way for me at this time in my life and your way is the right way for you at this point in your life and respect and tolerance for all our brothers and sisters as they progress toward the Truth that sets us free.

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Day 40 of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan

Not for us because of us, to prove life never ends.

Not for us because of us, to prove life never ends.

Day 40 of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan

Well I made it. At the beginning I had my doubts about committing publicly to doing this 40 day prosperity plan however as it turns out it was my thoughts of you, my readers, that has kept me going until the end. So thank you for participating with me and joining my journey in exploring new thoughts of creativity and prosperity. Your likes and followings have kept me encouraged along the way. This is not the end of course but a beginning in the continued application of what I have learned until I have reached full mastery of the topics covered in theses past forty days. As one follower reminded me in her blog we are on the path from “Glory to Glory.”

” I keep my mind and thoughts off “this world” and I place my entire focus on God within as the only cause of my prosperity. I acknowledge the Inner Presence as the only activity in my financial affairs, as the substance of all things visible. I place my faith in the Principle of Abundance in action within me.”

“…my entire focus on God within…” The Spiritual path requires nothing short of complete capitulation to God. Every religious tradition I’ve read agrees on this point. Total, unequivocal, surrender.

On this last formal day of working the Plan each morning, it is right to know, this past 40 days is just the beginning. What I have learned is, this is a continual process of dedication to God alone and constant observation of ALL that is right in my world now.

How I see my world and how I see God are the same. The God I surrender to is the one of Love and only Love. The God who “requires mercy and not sacrifice.” The God who says “cast your cares on me because I care for you.” She is the constant provider of ALL Grace, Truth, Joy, Peace, Comfort, Guidance, Abundance, All under the heading of Love.

“…the stern, condemning, dictator-God fell from the sky along with his big black book listing our sins and shortcomings. The man-made god was dead, and in its place was the Universal Reality of love that had been present with us, in us, and as us from the beginning.” from, The Superbeings.

Choose this day whom you will serve, the worlds god of poverty, condemnation, sin and death or the God of Abundance, Forgiveness and Life.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10.10

The God I see wants to show me everything that is right with me, every good thing in me and my world. All of the things that are lovely, beautiful, good and true. The constant splendor of overflowing abundance right here in front of my face. This God wants to open my eyes to see the Kingdom of God paved with streets of gold and verdant pastures and the tree of Life. This and an infinite variety of Good is All that is Real and is in me and through me, surrounds me and is me. I am a Son of God, God expressing herself here and now.

Again thanks and blessings to all of you. I shall be gone for a couple of days to Mexico for a photo shoot. I’ll post again when I get back.

David

Day 39 of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Day 39 of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan

“When I am aware of the God-Self within me as my total fulfillment, I am totally fulfilled. I am now aware of this Truth. I have found the secret of life, and I relax in the knowledge that the activity of Divine Abundance is eternally operating in my life. I simply have to be aware of the flow, the radiation, of that Creative Energy, which is continuously, easily, and effortlessly pouring forth from my Divine Consciousness. I am now aware. I am now in the flow.”

“What is right with you?”

“You should acknowledge what is right with you everyday and the good will grow.” both quotes from; Superbeings by John Randolph Price.

What is right with me is everything right here and right now. There is nothing wrong with me.

” I am aware of the God-Self within me as my total fulfillment.” YES.

So much of these past 38 days—I’m counting yesterday because yesterday was the breakthrough—were spent in focusing on what I thought was wrong in my life and that those things outside needed to be changed. But no. Nothing outside of me needs to be changed—my total fulfillment has always been and is always with me. I am right now standing in the presence of ALL Mighty greatness. I am innundated by the tsunami of Love. There is nothing else I need.

“What is right with me?” Absolutely everything. Even the things I think are “wrong” with me are right with me. I can completely relax in this ocean of Abundance. Everything that I need and want are here now.

Thank you God—no worries, no fears, no tension, no stress. Do I want it? Well go get it.

Yes it is Gratefulness that has opened my eyes to see the Abundance of riches available in the Kingdom of God. God’s timing is always perfect. Being in the flow is knowing that when something is needed it will be there at the right time and place in the perfection that is God.

The Abundance of everything.

Thank you God.

Day 37 of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan

Old Burnt Tree 1

Old Burnt Tree 1

Day 37 of the 40-Day Prosperity Plan

“The Divine consciousness that I am is forever expressing its true nature of Abundance. This is its responsibility, not mine. My only responsibility is to be aware of this Truth. Therefore, I am totally confident in letting God appear as the Abundant all sufficiency in my life and affairs.”

Mr Price points out in another of his books, Superbeings; he is talking here about a listening attitude, “(‘…you are totally receptive to the clear message of Divine Mind…’)—and a listening attitude can work wonders in your life. The key thought that came forth from within went something like this: ‘Claim your good. Speak the word for your good. Then care not if your good ever comes to pass.‘… But caring which is another word for worry and concern, was actually diverting the power flow.” pg xxii [underline mine]

This is so opposite to how I was raised and the attitude of the thought system of the world which thinks: caring, is different from worrying and fearing, but they are actually the same. ‘Caring’ does not equal love but is a thin disguise for its opposite. To know that my care for someone is actually diverting their and my good. The highest form of care then is to surrender all cares to the Love of God and not get in the way by setting my own agenda of how I think things should turn out.

Surrender is in fact the cornerstone of the Spiritual Life. Everything without exception must eventually be surrendered to God. This is one meaning of Jesus’ statement; “He who looses his life shall find it.” This is the “stone” that people so often stumble over—surrendering my life in its entirety to God.

In my profession as a “caregiver” I found I so often had ideas of how things should go to help people lives be easier and yet I often met with resistance. I found I must surrender my ideas of outcomes and allow the situation to unfold and be available without any agenda.

I did find that being a caregiver was a life of constant surrender to God and allowing God to work in the situation for the best of all concerned. I did find that going into a situation with a surrendered attitude everything went much smoother than the times I tried to make things work according to my time and plan.

“Cast ALL your cares on God for he cares for you.” Total Surrender.

Day 35 of The 40-Day Prosperity Plan

Eel Grass 2

Eel Grass 2

Day 35 of The 40-Day Prosperity Plan

“Money is not my supply. No person, place or condition is my supply. My awareness, understanding and knowledge of the All-providing activity of the Divine Mind within me is my supply. My consciousness of this Truth is unlimited, therefore my supply is unlimited.”

How I interpret outward circumstances is my clue to understanding my consciousness. Facts themselves are just facts. The number 4 is neither good or bad, it is just a fact. Four oranges are just four oranges, it is neither good nor bad. If you hate oranges and that is all you have to eat are four oranges good, bad or tolerable? Yes it is our thinking (consciousness) that make it so.

Outward circumstances: abundance or lack of money, persons, places or conditions are just the facts of the moment. Four dollars in my bank account is what ever I make it to be is the same as four hundred thousand, both amounts can be perceived as meeting my needs or not enough. It has been pointed out that there are extremely wealth people who never have enough.

Switching to a higher level of consciousness, outward conditions are not my supply. God is my supply and the substance of God is already supplied to me. There is no lack in God, no limitation whatsoever and it is all around and in me. God always gives in full measure and we continually receive in this moment everything we need.

I see buckets of good in unending quantity full of everything I need for the accomplishment of my desires. God is the source. God is the activity of my Divine Mind working in and through me for the benefit of all concerned.

This is my awareness, understanding and knowledge. I know that my redeemer lives and is living in me.

This is the fact above all appearances. There is nothing I can do about a fact. I can adjust my thinking to this fact, accept it and use it or not. Whether I eat the oranges or not makes no difference, I can be full or go hungry. As for me I will be full and Live in this abundance.

Day 34 of The 40-Day Prosperity Plan

Eel Grass 1

Eel Grass 1

Day 34 of The 40-Day Prosperity Plan

“Through my consciousness of my God-Self, the Christ within, as my source, I draw into my mind and feeling nature the very substance of Spirit. This substance is my supply, thus my consciousness of the Presence of God within me is my supply.”

To feel the joy of Abundant Supply, what is it like? Every time I get paid there is a big “Yes” in my spirit and a big “Thank you” in my soul. The reward and acknowledgment of a job well done and a sense of satisfaction and release from the sense of “not enoughness” that haunts me between paydays. Also the feeling of well being I get when I’m able to give to others in whatever proportion I am able.

There has been many times lately when money has come in from unexpected places. Also the supply of people willing to help me train for my new career, literally opening their doors so I can photograph their homes and create the portfolio I need so I can demonstrate my work to those who can use my services.

I see it and feel it coming together. Today I’ll be depositing a check—paid in advance—for two works of art framed and mounted. This is the feeling of excitement and fulfillment I need to keep in the forefront and feel all the time whether I have money or not because money is not my supply, it is the demonstration of my supply, which is the Presence of God within me.

God is my supply and feeling Good is feeling God because God is Good. God never leaves me and is constantly giving me everything I need for the fulfillment of my life’s purpose.

I am free of all worry, fear, lack and pain because I am constantly aware of my source.

This freedom is a great feeling—the feeling of a carefree life. The joy of running through a field of flowers with my arms upraised in praise and thanksgiving and singing a song of Joy.

I have come to the end of my poverty thinking. I’ve used up my quota of the lies of this world [see the movie Flight]. The Truth of Gods abundant Love, Grace, and Supply are my inheritance as Gods son.

YES. Thank you Lord.

Day 31 of The 40 Day Prosperity Plan

Borrego, Slot Canyon

Borrego, Slot Canyon

Day 31 of The 40 Day Prosperity Plan

“God is lavish, unfailing Abundance, the rich, omnipresent substance of the universe. This All-Providing Source of infinite prosperity is individualized as me-The Reality of me.”

What else is there but God? It has been said that the difference between Jesus and us is that for Jesus there was only God. He saw no difference and no separation between him and his Father. He said; “I only do what I see the Father doing.” and “I don’t do anything on my own, the Father does all things through me.” also, “I and the Father are one.” For Jesus there was no other Life, no other relationship and saw only God in everything.

Some people in recent times have tried to ‘prove’ Jesus never existed or they say they are searching for the ‘historical Jesus’ a Jesus less than is recounted in the stories of the New Testament, a more human non miraculous being. They claim the Apostles made up, embellished and surrounded with superstition the actual person of Jesus.

But I think it would take a person or several, in this case, who were themselves at or above the consciousness level of the one they created to have had such a long standing effect upon the history of the world. How could a first grader just learning math write a fiction about such a person as Einstein. And if they made Him up or embellished the events why would they die for a fiction?

Of course there are many theologies written about Him; who he was and his actual relationship to God but these are mans attempts to understand someone incomprehensible. What did he mean when he said; “I and the father are one.”? The beauty of Jesus is that we can decide for ourselves. We don’t have to subscribe to any particular ideology. He does say we can do the same and greater things by following his example of relationship with the Source of all Life.

The only thing that mattered to him was God and then he said you go and do the same. When nothing else matters but God we to can write the ‘story’ of Jesus as expressed through me, “the Reality of me”

This is the Word/Substance becoming flesh in us.

Day 30 of the 40 days of Prosperity Plan

Back from the thank-fullness holiday and am grateful for the time spent with my family and friends. I got to meet some wonderful people and get to know my brother in laws side of the family better. We took some great hikes in the Borrego Desert. One to the ‘Slot Canyon’ where at places we had to squeeze thru sideways and the other just my sister and I up into the hills a short ways. The conversations were uplifting and enlightening and full of laughter, and not to be forgotten the great food, then top it off with a hot tub before bed. LIFE is abundance Itself.

Hurry up I can't hold this up forever.

Hurry up I can’t hold this up forever.

Into the slot

Into the slot

Day 30 of the 40 days of Prosperity Plan.

“I keep my mind and thoughts off “this world” and I place my entire focus on God within as the only cause of my prosperity. I acknowledge the inner presence as the only activity in my financial affairs, as the substance of all things visible. I place my faith in the Principle of Abundance in action within me.”

This is the Foundation of the Spiritual life.

God.

Every spiritual tradition, no matter the form, begins here. God is Life. All life is in God and God is in All life. God is in me, and I am in God, I am Alive. Life is incredibly abundant.

Look at nature as Jesus pointed out, when not interfered with, nature overwhelms in growth and a natural balance of coming and going, ebb and flow from Source to Source in a continuous circle of prosperity, renewal, and fecundity.

God within is the only source of my prosperous life and I need not depend on any outside–wait a minute there is no “outside” to God. There is no separation from the infinite ALL there is Abundance of God.

I am Alive within the All abundance of God. I am engulfed by this never ending Life. Just as a flower brings to it everything it needs for growth without any struggle and returns to the earth as continued supply to others–I am continually doing the same. God is expressing thru me according to my consciousness just as the flower according to its consciousness all in complete perfection non stop and without depletion.

“All this is full, all that is full.

From fullness fullness comes.

When fullness is taken from fullness

Fullness still remains.

OM, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.”

The Isha Upanishad

God, Peace, Peace, Peace.

God, Rest, Rest, Rest.

“Come to me all of you who are tired and heavy with worries. Those of you who are weighed down by fears of this world. Come to me and I will show you how to have Peace that surpasses all of your worldly understanding. Come to me and I will give you rest for your souls.” Jesus

Day 28 of the 40 Day Prosperity Plan

Surrounded by the Light.

Surrounded by the Light.

Day 28 of the 40 Day Prosperity Plan

“My Consciousness of the Spirit within me as my unlimited Source is the Divine Power to restore the years the locusts have eaten, to make all things new, to lift me up to the High Road of abundant prosperity. This awareness, understanding, and knowledge of Spirit appears as every visible form and experience that I could possible desire.”

These meditations and contemplations are the beginning for me. I was brought to this plan by the Holy Spirit as the outworking of a commitment I made three months ago to: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to me.”

Even though I knew better, for many years I was not putting God first in my life. As a result my current financial and my Prosperity in general looks like a plague of locusts passed over my field. There is no need for details just saying it is time to start over with with my priorities in order.

The “restoration of the years the locusts have eaten” is the promise of over abundance.

“The threshing floors are full of grain; the vats overflow with new wine and olive oil. I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten.” [see Joel 2:18-27]

I am depending on God alone for my inspiration and the will and the energy to carry out my dreams of financial independence.

Ideas on how to accomplish this have been pouring in. I have decided to use my photography skills as a high end photographer of multimillion dollar homes for sale. It is no accident I live in one of the wealthiest towns in San Diego county [it is not because I have a lot of money right now]. I am surrounded by wealth and beautiful homes. Everything is here—I need to do the work—start from scratch and put myself out there. Plow under the stubble and ruined crop [forget the past] and plant new seeds.

I am excited about this. I can see my portfolio growing and people wanting my services. The work I do blesses others and spreads happiness all around We form strong partnerships benefiting all,

My bank account is overflowing, The ‘wine and oil’ are flowing in an unending supply through me fpr the benefit of everyone.

Thank you Lord God, you are my source and abundant supply. Thank you for being in me and I in you.

Day 27 of The 40 Day Prosperity Plan

The All Sufficiency in a Flower

The All Sufficiency in a Flower

Day 27 of The 40 Day Prosperity Plan

“The Divine Consciousness that I am is forever expressing its true nature of Abundance. This is its responsibility, not mine. My only responsibility is to be aware of this Truth. Therefore I am totally confident in letting go and letting God appear as the abundant all-sufficiency in my life and affairs.”

“Letting go and letting God.” This is really the only way to have peace of mind. Surrender is one of the corner stones of the spiritual path. It is difficult to learn and must be applied instantly and constantly. However complete and total surrender cannot be possible until I know who God is. Do I believe God is the the “abundant all sufficiency”? Until I see God this way surrender will be partial. But worry not (surrender) life gives us plenty of opportunity to practice.

At the outset it seems fatalistic to just give up. Such an action flies right in the face of everything the world has taught us since we were born. I was born screaming and fighting for sustenance and for many people this screaming and fighting will never end until they die. So one of the huge lessons we learn is to surrender all our needs to God. God is anthropomorphized as Mother/Father for this very reason.

With the understanding that the ideal parents are Mother/Father God I no longer need to force, fight and claw my way in any situation. Force only creates resistance, I may prevail and attain the goal but at what cost. How many people will I have to damage to get what we want? The Omniscient God is the only Life power that knows exactly how to accomplish for us without damaging anyone and in fact will arrange the accomplishment of my desires for the benefit of all concerned. Even if I think it is going “wrong” at the time, a surrendered heart will be guided to the right action.

Surrender will bring and attract to us our desires. Surrender does not mean, not doing, it means doing in Peace and Rest, full of Love and assurance that everyone’s needs and desires will be fulfilled by my accomplishing my goals. The true service of my life comes in the attainment of my goals, not at any ones expense but for the benefit of all concerned.

Surrender to the God of all sufficiency in my life lets me be free to love, and raise the level of consciousness of my project and uplift those in need of Peace and Love.

God gave me this desire and he will complete this desire for the good of all. Surrender will bring to me everyone needing to help me because I need to help them. Surrender to God will arrange the perfect scenario for everything to work out perfectly and all barriers will crumble or be changed into opportunities for the completion of my desire.

Surrender brings perfect peace of mind every step of the way. In surrender I can be grateful at all times, even when things seem to go amiss, because I know God is teaching me something—how to surrender. I can know that everything is working for the greater good.

It is done. It is finished now.

“And Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”