Monday, 4 July 2016

The Shocking Truth

The Heavens will not force feed truth to one that has no appetite for it.

Niels Bohr once said: ‘Anyone who is not shocked by Quantum Mechanics has not understood it.’  I feel the same is true of the Gospel – if it doesn’t knock your socks off then you have not grasped it, you have no appreciation of the sweeping implications of its truth. You may indeed hear the words but the truth thereof evades you. You may attend your religious services and mutter out the chorus of a hymn, even throw money into the Collection Plate, but that is hardly the inspired religious living of one that has heard the gospel. Such behaviour is not indicative of communion with transforming spiritual truth; the truth that compels one to pour out one’s soul for the salvation of the world. The ardour of true religious living, inspired living, could not possibly be compared to the mild inconvenience of convention that currently passes for the religious life of most post modern peoples. The gospel is electrifying in effect and those that are courageous enough to open themselves to its shocking truth are forever changed by the experience.

While the facts of quantum mechanics may require strenuous intellectual effort and training, the truth of the gospel is almost too easy and therein lies much of the problem. Quantum theory might change how you understand the universe and your concept of reality but the truth of the gospel doesn’t stop with merely changing your universe, it changes youand your whole relationship with the universe.

The great difficulty inherent in the experience of receiving the truth of the gospel is that it can only be received by those that WANT it; it can only be understood by those that wantto understand it. The sincere and heartfelt desire to experience this truth is an inevitable prerequisite that must be met before the Heavens can release its nourishing spiritual treasures to the hungering soul; and herein lies a glimpse of the Unforgiveable Sin – the personal refusal to embrace, receive, and live this truth.

Today we have Celebrity Atheists, individuals that are accomplished in self promotion and who promote themselves as ideal models of good sense, the gold standard of sound reason, true prophets of the facts, ardent enemies of superstition and ignorance. Indeed, so well have they promoted their theories that they have convinced, nearly, the whole world that to not be in their camp is to side with error, foolishness, and ignorance. However, when I survey these teachers I am reminded of a truth taught by the Master: ‘Seek and you will find’ – a dangerous truth indeed. You see I understand that God is not arbitrarily hidden from His children. He is found of them that sincerely seek Him. Indeed, it is arguable that of all the things in the Universe God is the easiest thing to find. Given this truth, how then can it be that these great intellects, these paragons of sound reason, have failed to find Him? There can be only one conclusion: they were not sincere in their search. After all, you cannot find something that you are not looking for.

Such individuals might be well accomplished in some one of the scientific disciplines but they are obviously not accomplished in this business of finding God. They point to their failure to find God as evidence to the effect that God does not exist. This is reminiscent of those that claim that a puzzle cannot be solved merely because they cannot solve it; that a thing cannot be achieved simply because they were unable to achieve it; that a thing does not make sense purely because they are unable to make sense of it; and this arrogance is worse compounded by the outright rejection of those that claim to have solved the problem, to whom the issue does make sense, or who have achieved the very thing these have said could not be achieved. In a remarkable irony, these fellows become guilty of the very thing they condemn in others – being closed-minded.

Just as quantum theory has its great teachers, the science that underpins the actualisation of our spiritual potential has its great luminaries; and just like the work of Planck and Einstein needs translators and teachers who can make their work accessible and serviceable to ordinary mortals, so too does the work of great teachers like Joshua ben Joseph of Nazareth or the Buddha need its teachers and translators. These lesser lights, if you will, vary in talent: some, being incredibly gifted, can make the most complex issues seem like child’s play; while others, less able, can turn the brightest vision into a nightmare. I would like to number myself among this army of lesser luminaries. It is my ardent hope to unpack some of the tremendous spiritual riches locked up in the life and work of Joshua ben Joseph of Nazareth and go some way towards clearing up the great rivers of ink and blood that have been spilled over his teachings and that have over time come to obscure his inspiring message.

It is disingenuous on the part of these celebrities to select the worst possible teachings as an example of the essence of religion and declare triumphantly therefrom that the whole endeavour is ridiculous. If I were take the work of scientists from a thousand, two thousand, or three thousand years ago, select their worst work and parade this foolishness before the world as ‘The Folly of Science’ that would be a gross misrepresentation, bordering on outright deception – even though every instance I selected would be an instance of fact. Would it not be fairer to simply recognise the truth in what they taught and pass lightly over the error? Shouldn’t these individuals aspire to at least this, instead of going for the cheap shot? Practically all religions, regardless of the foolishness they hold as sacred truths, share certain ideals which they contend are of timeless value to the forward march of civilisation: self-control, social service, family, justice, peace, love, truth, beauty, and goodness, and the hope of everlasting life. They extol these virtues with undaunted fervour, despite the fact that they are constantly undermined by the wicked and corrupt.

If you want to experience truth, and you want this sincerely and with your whole heart, there exists no power capable of preventing you from achieving this experience. On the other hand, however, if no desire to experience truth exists in you then there exists no means by which you can be made to experience truth. The Heavens will not force feed truth to one that has no appetite for it. There is certainly a case to be made to the effect that in the hunger for truth is to be found a revelation of truth but that is a deep teaching for another time.

So, let me end with the greatest truth: that which we call God exists, is real, and is the Great Source from whence springs all truth, beauty, and goodness, all love, hope, and mercy, all life, joy, and peace, and the great purpose of life – the quest to find and become like God – is an endless journey exploring the limitless depths of the Infinite One; a stupendous journey exploring the endless revelations of the unending majesty of truth, beauty, and goodness. As we come to know God better, as we learn more and more about that reality which we denote by the term God we likewise increase our store and appreciation of truth, beauty, and goodness. The Great Source is that reality from whence springs all things and beings, meanings and values, facts and personalities. Thus understood we call this reality the Universal Father because it is the Prime Ancestor or Great Source of All.

The Great Father has sent to us His prophets, teachers, and poets that he might make Himself known to us – the potential children of truth, beauty, and goodness, that we might learn of His glory and goodness, and attain for ourselves the glorious destiny of the Children of the Almighty. But not all have the heart to receive the teachings of these light bearers and through the grace of free will can reject such a destiny. As the prophets have taught us, ‘There is a way that seems wise to a man but the ends thereof are death.’ Go figure.

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