"METAPHYSICS: A Branch of Philosophy That Deals With 'First Cause' and 'The Nature of Being'"



“ NEXT ”

Regardless of appearances to the contrary, the aboriginal practices instrumental in fashioning early worship, were integral pieces of the foundation that would support the structure of faith in every tradition that followed. Remember, trusting in an authority outside ourselves is, in its own right, a leap of faith. The hope involved in petitioning that authority to show favor on our circumstances, reinforced our sense of control––when it could otherwise seem to be slipping through our fingers––and nurtured real faith each time any improvement was imagined. Even if only as a last resort, and in order that we might satiate the intended deity, our offering was something of great personal value. We derived little solace in the rationalization that we had exhausted all avenues available to us personally, before donning the guise of the supplicant and thereby admitting, what amounted to, a failure on our own part. Additionally, we might here be reminded that, when faith is new, the thirst that first invites beneficent resolution, is as easily quenched by focusing on sources of culpability beyond our control, because the desire to acquire anonymous benefaction is equally ready to place blame, when anticipated results fail to manifest. Is it too much a stretch then to imagine finding oneself in such a desperate state of confusion, that we might act in a way that would otherwise seem out of character, in the hope––however remote––of regaining some semblance of control? It’s at this “end of the rope” scenario, where hope shrinks in the face of desperation and our undemonstrated faith gives new meaning to the term; sacrifice!

The capitulation demanded of the initiate, by the “facilitators of the Gods”, evolved from simple material possessions, when the incipient ritual itself was simple, through increasingly convoluted layers of expectations and restrictions designed not just to enhance both the surreptitious and esoteric nature of the maturing ceremony, but deepen the commitment of the believer without shedding too much light on the underlying agenda of these self appointed intermediaries. The despair prompting the solicitor’s petition in the first place, provided enough despondency that the agent’s instructions were compelled to resemble a discipline. What surely started out as insidious subterfuge survived by the wit of the prevaricator, preying on the innocence of the credulous, whose desperate gullibility and unformed beliefs could be shaped into whatever archetype assured the most prosperous future for those making the rules, some of which centered on the prayerful's dependence, producing results that nurtured their hope just enough to keep them coming back. Once that devotion was more or less engaged in, the imaginations of the would-be clerics would be fueled by greed to heights of rationalization securing resources that assured the continued fidelity of the seeker. After all, the risk of being identified as participating in something that most peers would consider of a suspicious nature, was a very real threat to the long term integrity of any congregation. Fortunately, for the idolater and the future of all worship, guilt had long since proven itself an affective lever, and was quickly used to advantage as the most convenient contrivance to affect a devotional attitude. Obviously, as long as we allow the opinions of others to impact the way we act, guilt will be used against us. Effecting the act of worshipful behavior, when first encountered on ones path, had no affect until we cared enough to feel guilty.

Those who have not yet acquired that quality of defining right from wrong, aren’t suitable for inclusion in faith building rituals, nor would they consider seeking them out. Ironically, even though the intended nature of the guilt and ceremony relationship would have been lost on them, the direction this early incarnation of commitment was taking would have been well served by their temperament. That is to say, those who knew remorse, exemplified their desperation by choosing to suffer the bizarre twists of the rising cost of faith. It was the unrighteous however, who would have been well suited to meet those costs and more, if faith were something that abetted their agenda. It was sacrifice on a new scale that promoted guilt in the initiates heart, to a measure that would insure the degree of discreetness sought by any intercessor, regarding the unorthodox directions the seeker’s penance would be expected to take. The mere suggestion of deliverance from some perceived inadequacy rededicated our resolve to solicit the appropriate idol whose avarice allegedly, and conveniently, grew in direct proportion to our anxiety. So as the price of being shown favor inflated, it took on the unscrupulous enigma of “at any cost” and if, in spite of the guilt, we lacked the kind of remorse that should have been evident from this steep a stipend, it’s because our psyche was muddled in its attempt to rationalize the direction our offering was taking; that sacrifice could be broadened to include human life.

In the “now”, (or if you prefer; “on the surface”), this newest and most personal assessment probably appeared to be a glorification of the “pseudo-gods”. Even if that were an accurate account of their motivation, carnal actions rarely if ever have any obvious connection to reality and their object lesson in Truth. Guided to that point on our path, as we are to every opportunity on the physical level, it served little more than to represent how far our self esteem had fallen––and before we could see ourselves so lacking of it––we had contributed to, not only the extinguishing of our own worth, but of our value of life in general.

Human sacrifice would come to be judged barbaric by “civilized” descendants who, appropriately self-serving enough, evolved far more expedient and palatable means of sacrificing life with equally zealous rationalizations, alluding to the latest worthy or noble agenda. Sacrifice had to reach this point, first in idolatry and then for “the higher cause”, before its lesson in Truth could manifest in our lives. In eternity of course, everything is “sacrificed” to be One with Unconditional Love, but only through the understanding gleaned from the relationships of our repeated incarnations. While physical life, and death (regardless of the form that demise might assume), have no bearing whatever in reality––our fullness in the absence of time––, the experience both offer is unique with regards to every aspect of first recognizing and then sacrificing; Self! For example, an especially critical nexus among everyone's experience in the physical, is developing the capacity to subjugate all those characteristics of individuality accrued since ego’s self awareness, in order that we may start over with a clean slate and move toward the faith necessary to rely on the power that is beyond measure, instead of on our own limited abilities.

Though original instinct defies our surrender of will, our eventual success in relinquishing it––both instinct and will, that is––creates a void of innocent vulnerability, a vacuum or repository meant to accommodate God’s Divine Will. It also leaves us open to every kind of influence (temptation)––some negative and abusive in the extreme––but none the less consequential, because it is “the innocence of a child”, if you will, that inoculates us from what otherwise would be an avalanche of guilt inherent with a humane people conducting themselves in unspeakably, depraved physical attempts at propitiation. That remorse being the accumulative results of desperate acts over millennia of idolatrous practices that escalated demands on our ego, through the guile of carefully orchestrated ceremonies, leaving us to believe we had no recourse but to act in the onerous manner prescribed by those who would benefit most from our continued capitulation. On the threshold of spiritual freedom, any compassionate seeker in the “now”––without the insight of the eternal perspective––would be overwhelmed by the knowledge of the extreme, though Divinely Guided, behavior of former incarnations. In that sense perhaps, “what we don’t know, wont hurt us”, or at least keep us from moving on until we’re prepared to receive our revelations in Truth.

Bear in mind, in reality (eternity), for a foundation of faith to be lain; our ego needed subordinating. In order to reach that place on our path, where the help we sought (by demonstrating faith), could exert a positive influence on our circumstances in the physical, and as mentioned, this isn’t something we would consciously condone, we first had to allow ourselves to be brought into the company of those most skillfully appointed to dupe us with guilt and greed to become, through Divinely Designed carnal intent, the most grievously, shameful, emotionally spent excuse of a human being, who would resort to anything as long as there were a hint of recompense. The only way to circumvent “original instincts’” defenses, was to justify that the reward would be far greater than the energy expended exercising our will to resist and in so doing allowed ourselves to become addicted to reward. So easily does our resolve relapse, when our appetite needs sated, but this is where we had to come to acquiesce on our inability to prevail alone. Only in the “now” oriented physical world could we have found this desperate state of low––or no––self esteem, where our only choice, our only salvation––if you will––was to ask ourselves that question that unlocked the door to real faith.

Worshipful behavior has little foundation and no expectation without faith. Faith is the light that illuminates the path of our return to at-one-ment. It should, by now, have become clearer that faith is the fruit of a learned attitude reinforcement, rooted in hope and grown in experience, nurtured by trust found only in the physical, narrow, emotional world of reward driven possibilities.

The first step of our quest into the maze whose solution points toward what will be faith, requires nothing more than to ask. Faith starts with a question, any question really, that releases us from the burden of having all the answers, solving every riddle, resolving every problem. Hope lives in the asking that opens the door to trusting alternative avenues of approach to varied experiences, rewarding us in the lessons whose overcoming is realized in the growth of our faith. The path to the Truth of Being, while indigenous to eternity, is marked by trials and degrees of awakening based on the illumination that results from our thoroughness of understanding each lesson at hand. That understanding in turn creates opportunities to proffer the right questions that assist in leading to the next level of awareness. The most critical crucibles in which our faith is tested are the tribulations of relating to one another, personal interaction, fostering the foundation of trust which matures into faith by accepting circumstances as positive, when all appearances are to the contrary. Our spiritually reinforced focus on the physical invites us to believe that despite everything coming against us, and although existing conditions are not in our control, all will none the less turn out favorably. Practicing that belief represents the oneness of hope, trust and faith, as it manifests in the physical equivalent of our spiritual path to form the “belief system” from which all attitudes (spiritual and otherwise) are based.

Even though our causal awareness of what seems to be protracted spiritual growth, is the farthest thing from our daily punctuation of coping, we are forevermore flawlessly guided through our personal and unique objectives in a way that can only be considered Divine Design. From the broadest possible spectrum eternity offers, the “end” of our path (at-one-ment) is as clear as its “beginning” (awakening of ego). From that perfect frame of reference, it’s obvious when, what and why each connection must take place in order to navigate, what would appear to our physical senses as random and chaotic experiences, from one incarnation to another––with individuals of varying relationships and histories––who are on their own equally convoluted journeys to the same destination. Our investment in the plan that manifests as our life in the physical world, increases with the experience of every incarnation or, more to the point; as our progress proceeds, that part of us that abides becomes increasingly involved in the Divine Direction that initiates each subsequent incarnation. To that end, individuals and groups form common threads through the passage of time, often returning to the physical in concert, building on relationships, albeit in diverse roles, conducive to shared development. The term “soul mate” is distinctly more than a euphemism of our vernacular. Reality reflects it as being the microcosmic precursor to the macrocosm of “at-one-ment”, emphasizing that such experiential links are conspicuous throughout all facets of behavior and are the expected norm––when applied to the balancing quality of restitution––as represented by Divine Judgment.

With that in mind, we must consider the human experience untested until a demonstration of faith regards everything in the physical, even the most dire conditions, as serving a positive purpose toward our spiritual maturity in eternity. As stated earlier, in spite of outward appearances, there are no mistakes concerning our spiritual advancement. The difficulty with understanding that simple Truism is, of course, because we can only see ourselves as physical Beings, who through guilt have been led to believe that we can be judged, and consequently, judge others for actions society warrants as unacceptable. It goes without saying there are copious examples of conditions and events in the narrow, emotionally charged view limited by our physical senses that seemingly make no sense, are grossly unfair or even tragic. Countless accounts abound of intractable malevolent behavior wrought upon innocents, devastating survivors, victimizing all who are unwitting witnesses. Heinous acts have been characteristic of human behavior since “original instinct” prompted us to control perceived threats through demonstrations that invoked fear. The more fearful the display, the more complete would be the command of the situation and those involved. Such authority, once tasted, equates itself with a strength of position from whose vantage point one could exhort one’s own will on others. That feeling induces a state of mind, in susceptible egos, that’s enough to reinforce the reward addiction by creating an appetite for it that grows increasingly insatiable. By that account it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine; what must have productively served as acts of self defense, countering a perceived threat with a threat, could expand into a vehicle for domination using fear through appalling and abhorrent viciousness. After all, this is “the nature of the beast”, the oldest part of our base instinct that Truth seekers, recognizing right from wrong (evidence of conscience), struggle to suppress every time they make the choice of being hopeful and positive instead of reacting emotionally to challenging circumstances.

For the most part, or at least until we as a people are able to free ourselves from the stigma of guilt and hence the misplaced role of judge, our response to horrific behavior will never be any more civilized than the behavior itself. A lifestyle involving choices promoting “clear conscience” is certainly the preferred practice for all, not only where the disentitlement of guilt and the freedom coincidental with the lifting of that burden is concerned, but also because it opens the door to a more compassionate outlook toward those still reacting emotionally. Additionally, until the role-playing of judge and juror is denuded from the human psyche, our path is bound to the presumptuous rules of punishment based on due process jurisprudence, rationalized as civilized but little more than an extension of a gang mind-set that qualifies vengeance as “just” and “fair”. To reiterate, our milieu is not to judge the actions of others, for we will never be in a position to fathom the eternal intrinsic reality of what manifests in the “now”, as crime. One of the reasons we are not afforded the clarity of relevance unique to the eternal point of view, is because; even though the perfect balance maintained by Divine Judgment is so complete and final, it would never satisfy the emotional gratification we claim in the physical, as our inherent right to vindication. Until we arrive at the place where faith’s fruition frees us from circumstances, our unpredictable emotional reactions will continue to be enabled by our narrow view of events, and our instincts, in turn motivating the decisions made about each challenge we face. Living anything less than “perfect”, however, does little but secure our continued return to the tribulations where by we acquire the body of knowledge offered exclusively in time––through uncountable personal interactions––for the cultivation of clues which lead to the enlightenment of Truth and thus the perfection of at-one-ment, that awaits at the end of all our paths.

Our greatest obstacle to that progress is “original instinct”. The walls thrown up in the guise of self defense also retard the interaction necessary for the understanding that precipitates growth. The rationalizing of motivation that instinct utilizes to dominate choices is equally effective in blurring the fact that, we have a choice. Hope, trust and now patience, are the choices that get us beyond the limiting affects of instinct. Accepting the possibility of a reward that allows us to have a glimmer of hope, sets in motion an expectation about our future, planting a seed of trust resulting in something akin to foresight. The patient practicing of such thought processes only adds to the strength of the roots between hope and trust, creating opportunities for faith to spring from beds held barren by instinct. Beyond this finite threshold of positive environments lies the incubator where faith flourishes to become the only fruitful avenue between the physical and eternal, allowing our familiarity with that timelessness and all it offers, to germinate and mature. This “key to the kingdom” eventuality, certain though it is, also represents every conceivable scenario with regards to our exercise of patience and the role that plays in the fruition of faith. Without the benefit of healthy doses of patience, our growing faith is stunted by the pests and weeds of negativism and insecurity that original instinct relies on to protect and insure the ego’s predominance.

By now it should be obvious; faith is not only the foundation for, but the only means by which we may achieve a worshipful attitude toward our spiritual reality. To that end, progress on our path necessitates a concerted cultivation of hope, trust and patience to assure faith prevails in spite of our limiting physical senses and the trepidation of original instinct. If it were possible to compare the incarnate experience’s apparent interminability, to the minute segment of it that represents our maturing faith, we could clearly see the prerequisite assimilation of physical experiences has a disproportionately larger measure imparted to it, than does the genuine commitment of surrendering one’s self to the freedom of a life over flowing in the prosperity of faith filled provision. We may also see, that by any measure in this frame of reference, we can and have only touched on the minimal acumen conducive to a life of faithful worship, but lest it’s forgotten how the precursor to faith was inaugurated to the journey that climaxes in the epiphany of Truth, we’ll digress.

Once illuminated with the clarity of Divine Design, the ceremonies that stretched the limits of personal sacrifice to begin with (throwing into doubt our value for life), can be examined as an extension of honest commitment, though it seemed inordinate in the “now”, translating a nexus from the path of our Spiritual advancement into the physical expression about which our forebears have been judged less than civilized by all who have followed, while themselves demonstrating attributes that are no more in evidence of enlightenment than those they condemn. If our self-serving attempts to impress our judgment and standards on others weren’t so fueled by emotions, instinct’s domination of ego would fade, bringing to light a much clearer attitude ready to concede, regardless of outward appearances, to a more progressive acceptance toward all behavior. Practicing the latitude fostered by an open mind leads, in time, to the leap of faith that regards all possible ramifications of circumstances in the physical, as the sole instruments in our Divinely Orchestrated Corporeal Soliloquy. Though not appearing to have any relation to what is in reality a normal consequence of Divine Judgment, those day to day interactions found to be uniquely bound to the temporal, are the only means by which the balance distinguishing that Universal Law is maintained.

Having now garnered an unrestrictive detachment about the associations that connect the avenues of physical expressions to their spiritual values, we accept that change happens as a circumstance of growth, not vice versa, and proceed in our observations toward the understanding; everything and everyone has a reason for being just the way it is. Perhaps because of our comfort zone in the status quo, we will from “time to time” indulge instinct to oppose attempts at growth, only compounding whatever discomfort might accompany the due course of that adjustment. Allowing for the paradox that change remains constant in its inconsistency, we must endeavor to resist the temptation to influence a change simply to fit our own personal agenda, remembering that; even the most trying periods, (in spite of related inconveniences which may vary in degree from troublesome to tragic), are none the less ongoing singular lessons incumbent to our incarnate term of physical functionary, confronted exclusively as a matter of our immersion in time. Any measure of progress in that confining environment is defined by the overcoming of trials, whose undertaking is both, supported by all that has come before and added to the framework of whatever lay ahead. In this regard, our faith may be exercised with the Truth that Divine Design has masterfully prepared us to face every “new” challenge. We are assured that no single family of people, or generation, or individual, or civilization, no one tribe or nation has been shown greater favor over any other, with respect to the benefits of this most perfect demonstration of eternal unconditional love, thereby guaranteeing all paths converge at “at-one-ment”, if not simultaneously, with absolute certainty.