46. The spiritual quest is driven by self. At the door that guards the quest’s end, self must be transcended. The door’s key is always selfless love for ALL.
The old myths give clear signals about the path of test and ordeal towards initiation and ultimate spiritual fulfilment. The importance of Christ is that he showed that at the heart of this process, alongside bravery and virtue etc. is selfless love. Christ demonstrated through His crucifixion, the key, the final key, to the mysteries. We need the ancient virtues as we set out on our quest, but the final door, the final test can only be opened or won when the whole purpose of the quest is turned in on itself, when the pursuit almost becomes meaningless as the seeker stands at the door and no longer desires to pass, other than through his or her selfless love for all creation, as something done for them alone. The original purposes and desires of the seeker are necessarily lost at the very moment of triumph. But it is in that moment of loss, invariably felt as a soul-shattering and cataclysmic tragedy, that everything is gained.
47. Adherents to so many of our world’s faiths see part of their duty being the proselytising of their faith. Such was the underlying motivation underpinning all the great missionary drives. To teach the faith, to proclaim the faith, to bring new adherents into the faith, was seen as a fundamental duty by so many. Certainly, it was believed by such missionaries that those they hoped to convert would languish spiritually, and indeed would be deprived of eternal salvation unless they were brought into the faith. Certainly, also, it was the case that huge numbers of ‘non-believers’ were drawn into faiths such as Christianity and Islam by both prodigious efforts on the part of missionaries, and also of course by the prodigious wielding of a prodigious number of swords. In our present times, many adherents of the world’s faith believe that their particular religions need to rediscover their missionary, even messianic, zeal. However, a point that needs to be understood, is that the earlier waves of missionary activity, although visibly wielded by the missionaries or the bearers of swords, were merely reflecting the hidden, even occult, divine energies of the time. Our present time may well be responding to such divine but hidden energies in new ways. The ways of God are not for us to entirely understand. We are all caught in a blessed unfolding of the Divine itself. ‘We cannot enter the same river twice’. We can re-enter the flow of Diving unfoldment, but what it should be called, and where it might take us, is beyond our knowing. ‘Trust in the Lord’.
48. The new faiths of around one and two millennia ago, along with the extraordinary spiritual and religious impetus of the Axial Age between the eighth and the third centuries BCE saw profound impulses of thinking that eased humanity away from an apparent need to propitiate seemingly indifferent deities into a sense of personal involvement and responsibility for the individual’s relationship with any deities, along with the individual’s relationship with his or her society, culture and world. With Christianity we see another profound insight with regards to our relationship with the Divine. For the original Christian message proclaimed the love that the Deity had for all ‘His’ creation. This was a profound moment in human history. And yet it did not take long for the new freedom from fear of the Deity to be subsumed by an ever more intense fear of the Deity through the ever more present and ever more vivid teachings of Divine retribution and subsequent eternal suffering. The great moment in human history, where we humans could sense the presence of the Divine as being as complete and perfect and loving as the love our mothers have for us, was overturned. The Divine became masculine, patriarchal, and vengeful: unremittingly and dreadfully so. The Divine’s love was all but lost to us, and it is only now that we seek and fashion new ways to reconnect what should always have been our loving, eternal birthright. Our old religions are not so much under threat of redundancy or irrelevance, as we are on the brink of realising a future with all that is good and wholesome in them, and without all that is dark and limiting about them. A new world!
49. Our new times, which mark our coming of age, which mark our ceasing to be petitioners of God, but instead becoming more and more partners with God, will make little sense, and will have only a meagre and even an ineffectual affect upon the world, unless we can create meaning in ourselves. This will have to be the nurturing of an inner reality, rather than something ‘outside’ that we can all wait around for it to happen. Also, it will consist at first of a small step forward in our inner lives, in our spiritual lives. Evolution is not a theory that is a mere human construct to explain seeming riddles in nature. Evolution is an integral Truth, embedded into the Cosmic Construct. Evolution is the process set within the unfoldment of the Cosmos and thereby the unfoldment of us all. Thus, when we create meaning in ourselves, what we create will only be the first stage of a new mind and soul-driven unfoldment of ourselves. The meaning we must create in these new times will be part of that universal unfolding of everything towards ONENESS, towards wholeness. All will ultimately become ONE in the ALL.
50. One of the great problems in world history is the clash of religious beliefs. We know that religions generate fervent, even fevered, passions, and these passions can so often spill over into hatred, persecution and all-out war. Religious wars have darkened our world history and indeed have darkened the lives and souls of so many who have been caught up in religious wars. And this is not just history. The clash of religions, and more to the point the clash of the various adherents of the various religions of the world are ongoing problems. Does a day ever go by when someone somewhere in the world is not suffering as a consequence of their being perceived to be in the wrong religion? One world religion, when religious persecutions and religious wars can cease to make sense, will too often seem to be an impossible dream. But in fact that is not the case. Indeed, we could have one world religion in seconds, if we truly wanted it. And in the process, no religion would have to be given up by any of the worlds religious adherents. It takes just a simple trick to achieve this. But although at one level it is a mere trick of the mind, in another and much more profound sense it would be the most important, beautiful and spiritual moment in our world’s history. All we have to do to achieve one world religion is remain an adherent of our own particular religion – should we so choose – but at the same time not only accept everyone else’s religion, but in fact rejoice in every one else’s religion. Yes, rejoice. For we are all on the same path. We are all reaching towards the divine. Just rejoice – which goes far beyond mere acceptance. Do that, and we shall all bring ourselves so much closer to the Divine we all aspire to. Do not do that, and the Divine shall continue to be beyond our reach. Rejoice!!!