The Kingdom of God (2)
Dec 16, 2018
The Kingdom of God (2)
“The Kingdom of God will not come
With observable signs. Nor will the people say
‘Look. Here it is’, or ‘There it is.’ For you see,
The Kingdom of God is within.”
Luke 17:20-21 (NIV)
If we could truly live in the kingdom of God, what would it be like? There are many levels of that immersion into the sublime, and we will explore several that are possible to ordinary human life, but those living with immersion in the Kingdom of God as Jesus claimed.
Now Jesus lived in that kingdom all of his life. Jesus was perfectly human, he got up in the morning, had bowel movements, ate meals, likely skinned his knee as a kid, and everything else that all humans do. He probably cut himself on something sharp (his dad was a carpenter, after all, and sharp things are the tools of that trade), cried as a child, and had all the ordinary trauma and joys of a human child and adult.
But Jesus lived in the kingdom of God, aware of the personal relationship of God all his life, and was filled with joy – even when he wept over many things. Jesus was not afraid to show his emotions, they were part of his humanity and he lived his humanity to the fullest. His awareness of the closeness of the totality of God, what we call the trinity, the loving relationship spiral that flowed love forever (love is a movement where we give ourselves to another in an ongoing flow), is what allowed him to do what we call miracles at a moments notice – all he had to do was draw upon the power of the ever-present force that he lived in in every moment, that force what we call God, the Universe, or the Christ.
Jesus lived on several levels as a human, just as we live on many levels in our life. There are many references of Jesus going off to pray alone, where he could dwell in the fullness of his alter-ego, or the Christ, that universal force that embodies the physical universe and God at the same time. The human flesh of Jesus was like all of us, and he could only center his mind on one thing at a time. Jesus threw all he had into every moment, moving from one to another as he could. Even Jesus required solitude to find the bliss of the fullness of the trinity, where all other concerns could be laid down and ignored for those precious moments. Yes, Jesus had to control his time, as he, like all of us, only had 24 hours a day to accomplish his plans for the day.
Jesus was fully human during his life on earth. That changed after his death, and his resurrected form was a direct outgrowth of his full presence in the reality of the Christ, or as the opening on John’s gospel has it, the Word. But during his life on earth he was fully human, with all the limitations of humanity. All humans have the same capabilities as the human Jesus; this is why he could say “Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.” (John 14:12). It was through the humanity of Jesus, and his awareness of his oneness with that force we call the Trinity, that Jesus did what he was doing; and he was fully aware that we too have that same ability buried deep within us to be one with the fullness of God. That is what Jesus meant when he said “Holy Father/Mother, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one even as we are one.” (John 17:11). We are one, and as St. Paul said, we are the body of the Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14 and Ephesians 4:1-16). Thus we form the second coming of Jesus, now including humanity as a whole. It is through our recognition of our presence in God that the second coming comes to fruition, and the process has been moving forward for 2000 years.
But that key is to recognize that we are indeed the body of the Christ, not objectively (ok, I am the body of Christ; now what) but subjectively (if I am the body of the Christ, how do I act and recognize internally that I am part of that body). If we are indeed the body of the Christ, we, like Jesus before us, could have that blazing insight of God as part of our life.
Jesus was clear: “That they may be one.”I believe that Jesus was speaking of our recognition: we are one, if we know it or not, but only through leaving our egos behind can we know that we are one. Yes, Jesus had an ego, as the ego is part of the human nature. But the ego of Jesus was always used in the manner it was designed, as part of his learning process, whether it was in school or in the carpentry shop of his dad. Jesus was one of the few humans that lived entirely in a non-dualistic manner, conscious of his oneness both with his Spirit and with all of humanity and nature. I believe he had to learn this as he grew from infant to adulthood, even though it is obvious that he was fully aware of this at age 12, when he was left behind in the temple, where he confounded his elders. Likewise, we have to grow into this awareness, usually as we change our life to become more God-conscious.
Next we will explore the different states of God-consciousness from the sublime to the ordinary day-to-day existence that is ours if we wish.
Spirit Within, I realize that You fill my internal humanity with love, only love. I know that I often fail to live in that love as fully as I might, and I need to spend the effort to find the wonder of being fully at peace in that love. I know that it is only by surrender to that spirit that I can taste that spirit, even though it is always within me. I surrender myself once more, letting myself slide into that love in peace and acceptance. Bless our stumbling world, as we fumble and move ever so slowly into Your love. I give myself each moment into your care and love, knowing that You are always there holding me, no matter what I say or do or even believe.