Symbols Universal

If it is true, as both mystics and physicists seem to agree, that matter is just energy congealed and arranged by some kind of consciousness, then it must also be true that the universe is, as the Nobel Prize winning physicist Sir Arthur Eddington put it, "mind stuff;" The universe is literally a thought. Now for human beings, thought is expressed as images in the mind, then usually communicated to other minds in writing or verbally. These forms of communication are not the thought itself but a way to convey the underlying idea. As such, they are symbols of an intention. So, if the universe is a thought, then everything in it is a representation of a preceding intention. If that thought is the result of some universal form of consciousness, call it God if you will, then there can never be anything entirely random or accidental. And because the universal mind represents itself through images, what we observe around us must be symbolic, meant to convey some intended divine message. The human being's conscious mind, which deals in literary symbols such as speech and logic, will not even consider what that message is, but the subconscious, which works in its own symbolic imagery, knows what it means. If God speaks to us, then, it is to our subconscious mind in the form of outward and inward (dream) images. That's why seers look for signs in the physical world that convey divine messages. What the rational mind considers random events in the physical world, the subconscious mind realizes is backed by pure intent.

As part of the physical universe, the human body, and for that matter, the human existence, must also be the symbol of an underlying divine intent. That spark of divinity known to us as the soul projects its conscious intent through the drama of human life. who we are, what we look like, and the events that we witness and create are symbols of soul consciousness in action. As the mystics say, there are no accidents. There are only occurrences that we consider random events but which, in an arcane way, are intended to inform us at a subconscious level. On occasion, however, the divine consciousness creates events that remind even the conscious mind that the universe is a thought, and as such, is not as solid and immutable as we may suppose. Synchronous events and miracles are indications that there is divine intent behind so-called physical reality.

Lest the demonstrations of divine will be ignored or dismissed as coincidence, it seems the divine soul is sometimes expressed directly through a human consciousness. That divine human seems to be among us to teach directly to human consciousness as well as the subconscious. Not only does the divine human simply tell us the truth about the nature of God, man and reality, that holy person demonstrates it and lives it. As one such divine human, Sathya Sai Baba, put it, "My life is my message."

For Westerners, Jesus is the great example of divinity in human form. Most people are aware of what Jesus taught, and how he lived, according to the Bible. Yet, what Jesus really taught was a powerful image that was conveyed directly to our subconscious by the drama of the crucifixion. The hope that Jesus gave mankind was not written in the Bible, nor in the doctrine that Paul taught. It was given as a demonstration of true reality.

When asked if he was God, Jesus said he was, then added, "Is it not written in your laws that you are God?" The idea that we are God refers, of course, to our divine soul, which is our true identity. But if we are God, or divine souls, then we are lost in the ignorance of our mind, which is tuned only to receive and cogitate on what information our senses provide. The conscious mind is a barrier that prevents us from knowing who we really are. For a divine human to communicate truths to us, the conscious mind barrier must be bypassed. So dramas are staged to convey knowledge to the subconscious mind.

Perhaps the most famous drama was the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Taken without doctrinal baggage, the story concerns a holy teacher who upsets the Jewish establishment with his radical talk, and so, is turned over to the Romans as a threat to their rule. Jesus is then executed by crucifixion only to rise from the dead in three days. That would be the story as understood by the conscious mind. The conscious mind, however, is very creative, and subsequent re-tellings added doctrine, or meaning, to the drama. Paul, the founder of Christianity as we know it, made claims that transformed a simple sequence of events into a belief system having little to do with what is actually stated in the gospels. Paul was able to do that because events in themselves are simply events. They have no outward meaning or doctrine. Human minds always add whatever meaning an event may have for us. And if that meaning is given to us as the truth, then we will probably accept it. So, virtually everything we believe about Jesus and the events of his execution are products of the conscious mind, which is, of course, a barrier to the real truth.

Suppose, then, that Jesus entered a culture that was very surface oriented. That is, the Jewish culture at the time was engrossed in rituals, law, and hierarchy, not the venture within to find spiritual sustenance. It was quite dualistic, with God being considered a super entity living in a temple, inaccessible to everyone but the high priest. Most of these concepts are products of the conscious mind. Jesus was not successful in trying to overturn, much less, reform that mindset. He could tell people the truth, and while some believed him, those with a vested interest in the religious status quo would not.

To the conscious mind, Jesus demonstrated his divine authority by performing miracles. From that perspective, his was a commission from God to do the work of his Father. The subconscious message, however, is that God is not an entity confined to a temple, but something awesome that resides within all of us capable of miraculous power. After all, Jesus assured his disciples that they too could perform miracles.

But, of course, the most profound demonstration of spiritual truth was the crucifixion and resurrection. Christian doctrine, presumably a product of conscious speculation, has Jesus dying for our sins. Nowhere is Jesus recorded as saying this was his intent. From the subconscious perspective, however, the drama may well be an illustration of life's purpose, with Jesus amplifying the lesson in case we've forgotten.  And virtually all of us have.  In the scheme of things, according to the mystics, the divine soul descends from God into the physical world and becomes flesh. While in body, the soul becomes subject to the suffering that is a feature of physical reality. Apparently, suffering is unknown where the soul comes from. It requires identifying with the flesh, to include the mind, to suffer.  To fulfill its purpose, the soul then starts the process of escaping from the flesh and rejoining God.  Suffering is the impetus that leads most people to the spiritual path.  So Jesus came from his "Father" and became flesh and blood. He dealt with the suffering so acutely inflicted on and by humanity and told us that we have to cease identifying with it. And so he taught us the lessons of love and forgiveness. To illustrate his verbal message, he allowed himself to become the dramatic example. In dying on the cross, he illustrated the truth that we have to die unto the flesh, that is, cease identifying with it, and rejoin God as spirit.  Our lives are spent having to experience pain and death, only to be reborn for another round.  When we become desperate for release, we look for a way to rise above the trials of life. As Sai Baba put it, the vertical member of the cross represents the "I", or ego. The horizontal member crosses the "I", representing the crossing out of the ego. It is in "killing" the ego that we are reborn to eternal life.

The soul knows the journey it has undertaken, but the conscious mind has to be reminded that there is a way to overcome the entrapment of the physical world. Unfortunately, the message Jesus wanted to leave us with, both verbally and in the drama of his death and resurrection, are not understood. Just as Jesus was killed by the ignorance of his persecutor's conscious minds, so too was his message lost in the garbled interpretations of those who did not understand the inner meaning.  We can't intellectualize the truth.  But we can let the inner knowing rise to consciousness if we meditate on it.



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