Our perception of God has been distorted on this planet for centuries. Through a gradual editing and discrediting of various religious texts that were otherwise genuine, we’ve been taught to believe that God’s an angry man in the sky who sends ‘sinners’ to a fiery inferno because he doesn’t like the things they did on earth.
We’re taught to believe that we have to live unflinchingly in alignment with certain rules or philosophies, lest we wish to go to ‘hell’, and we’re considered ‘sinners’ from the moment of our birth.
Needless to say, this seems like a distorted way to perceive the Source of all existence. Instead of seeing our God as a vengeful man who has a score to settle with humanity, we can recognize that Source is unconditionally loving and offers constant grace – grace that we can receive if we open up to it.
If we’re motivated enough, we can feel Source’s grace very easily.
Like all things, the more we seek Source, the more we’ll begin to feel his/her higher qualities radiating through our bodies and spirits. If we seek Source with a humble and loving heart, we’ll receive his /her grace and every other divine quality that’ll lead us back into the higher realms.
Our perception of Source and Christ will have to be expanded for us to properly receive these qualities.
We’ll have to see that Source is a loving, omnipotent being of pure consciousness who wants us to understand that our reality is innately spiritual; that it’s comprised of the love that creates every reality and enables every being of consciousness to progress ‘upward’ through the dimensions.
Once our understanding of Source is undistorted, we’ll be open to greater insights about the spiritual nature of our reality and the necessity to live in alignment with ideals and philosophies that help us spiritually progress, as opposed to ideals that are pushed onto us by a church.
Needless to say, we aren’t ‘punished’ for living out of alignment with the divine qualities.
We punish ourselves in a sense, because we keep ourselves from exploring the greater perceptions and revelations that help us perceive the divine in a realer and purer way. Source doesn’t force this limitation onto us – we chose to embody it in the first place and we accept it (thereby feeding it) when we live out of alignment.
It’s something we do to ourselves, and I’m sure if it were up to Source, we’d all be back in the higher realms, enjoying ourselves and appreciating the experiences we were blessed to have in the lower spheres.
Here, I want to examine the grace of God, as outlined by various spiritual teachers. As we’ll learn here, our creator offers unlimited grace and when we attune to our personal Christ consciousness, we not only perceive, but express the intense, burning love and the compassionate grace our creator has for all of his/her creation.
‘Brother Lawrence’ tells us that he and his companions were always treated to Source’s grace.
“God never failed offering us His grace at each action; … he distinctly perceived it, and never failed of it, unless when his thoughts had wandered from a sense of God’s presence, or he had forgotten to ask His assistance.” (1)
He also tells us that “God seemed to have granted the greatest favors to the greatest sinners, as more signal monuments of His mercy.” (2)
If we strive for perfection, he tells us, we rely primarily on Source’s grace.
“The greater perfection a soul aspires after, the more dependent it is upon divine grace.” (3)
Nothing’s impossible when we seek Source’s grace, Paramahansa Ramakrishna tells us.
“What if you are [householders]? Through His grace even the impossible becomes possible.” (4)
Nothing has to stop us from connecting with our creator, and we’re the only ones who can keep ourselves from finding and maintaining this connection.
Only when our minds are open and our hearts are capable of receiving the divine inspiration that comes directly from Source will we access these higher qualities, and as a lot of seekers have discovered, grace is one of the most potent qualities Source offers us.
When we can open up and stay open, we’ll transcend the illusory limitation that’s convinced us we’re little more than finite humans who can’t convene with our creator in a real or pure way. It requires an open mind, a receptive heart and faith in ourselves and the divinely inspired things we’ve come to this world to do, but by no means is it impossible.
Leading a ‘spiritual life’ here on earth is quite difficult, Ramakrishna points out.
“Why shouldn’t one be able to lead a spiritual life in the world? But it is extremely difficult. … There are many ties on a worldly man. There is no way for him to get rid of them except through the grace of God.” (5)
When our perception’s fixed solely on Source and the spiritual nature of our existence, transcending the limiting qualities that have chained us to the earth will be a breeze. We’ll easily access the love that creates our reality, and our higher selves, guides, etc. and Source him/herself will be there for us in our most difficult times.
Any difficulty we face will only last as long as we let it, and our communion with Source will be as easy and free-flowing as we’ve always wanted it to be when we can let go of our focus on this external reality.
It all starts with the decision to live unflinchingly in love and refrain from giving in to the lower qualities that have held humanity back for centuries, and in time, every seeker will see that being of the world doesn’t have to disqualify us from feeling and acting on our spirituality.
Through Source’s grace, even the hardest feats can be achieved with an open and loving heart, Ramakrishna tells us.
“They are heroes indeed who can pray to God in the midst of worldly activities. They are like men who strive for God-realization while carrying heavy loads on their heads. Such men are real heroes.
“You may say that this is extremely difficult. But is there anything, however hard, that cannot be achieved through God’s grace? His grace makes even the impossible possible. If a lamp has been brought into a room that has been dark a thousand years, does it illumine the room little by little? The room is lighted all at once.” (6)
Even if we’ve lived in the dark all of our lives, all we need to do to receive Source’s grace is open up and ask for it. We’ll be illuminated instantly, but it might seem like a long process of growth and refinement because we’ll have to work through the mind-driven barriers that have kept us from connecting with Source.
The moment we seek any sort of greater spiritual perception or inspiration, Source and his/her angelic helpers instantly get to work connecting with us. They help us embark on what can be a long journey of growth and refinement, and with their help and a lot of effort, patience and diligence, we eventually find the greater perception we seek.
We’ll all eventually connect with our creator, but this can only happen when everyone’s mental barriers have been torn down or transcended and we all empower the idea of using our spirituality to make the connection. Through Source’s grace, even a lost society like ours will find the light and spiritually thrive.
- Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God. Mount Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press, 1963, 19.
- Ibid., 14.
- Ibid., 22.
- Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 293.
- Ibid., 1016.
- Ibid., 1014-5.
Concluded in Part 2 tomorrow. To read the full article, head here.