Our perception of God has been distorted on this planet for centuries. Through a gradual editing and discrediting of various religious texts that were otherwise genuine, we’ve been taught to believe that God’s an angry man in the sky who sends ‘sinners’ to a fiery inferno because he doesn’t like the things they did on earth.
We’re taught to believe that we have to live unflinchingly in alignment with certain rules or philosophies, lest we wish to go to ‘hell’, and we’re considered ‘sinners’ from the moment of our birth.
Needless to say, this seems like a distorted way to perceive the Source of all existence. Instead of seeing our God as a vengeful man who has a score to settle with humanity, we can recognize that Source is unconditionally loving and offers constant grace – grace that we can receive if we open up to it.
If we’re motivated enough, we can feel Source’s grace very easily.
Like all things, the more we seek Source, the more we’ll begin to feel his/her higher qualities radiating through our bodies and spirits. If we seek Source with a humble and loving heart, we’ll receive his /her grace and every other divine quality that’ll lead us back into the higher realms.
Our perception of Source and Christ will have to be expanded for us to properly receive these qualities.
We’ll have to see that Source is a loving, omnipotent being of pure consciousness who wants us to understand that our reality is innately spiritual; that it’s comprised of the love that creates every reality and enables every being of consciousness to progress ‘upward’ through the dimensions.
Once our understanding of Source is undistorted, we’ll be open to greater insights about the spiritual nature of our reality and the necessity to live in alignment with ideals and philosophies that help us spiritually progress, as opposed to ideals that are pushed onto us by a church.
Needless to say, we aren’t ‘punished’ for living out of alignment with the divine qualities.
We punish ourselves in a sense, because we keep ourselves from exploring the greater perceptions and revelations that help us perceive the divine in a realer and purer way. Source doesn’t force this limitation onto us – we chose to embody it in the first place and we accept it (thereby feeding it) when we live out of alignment.
It’s something we do to ourselves, and I’m sure if it were up to Source, we’d all be back in the higher realms, enjoying ourselves and appreciating the experiences we were blessed to have in the lower spheres.
Here, I want to examine the grace of God, as outlined by various spiritual teachers. As we’ll learn here, our creator offers unlimited grace and when we attune to our personal Christ consciousness, we not only perceive, but express the intense, burning love and the compassionate grace our creator has for all of his/her creation.
‘Brother Lawrence’ tells us that he and his companions were always treated to Source’s grace.
“God never failed offering us His grace at each action; … he distinctly perceived it, and never failed of it, unless when his thoughts had wandered from a sense of God’s presence, or he had forgotten to ask His assistance.” (1)
He also tells us that “God seemed to have granted the greatest favors to the greatest sinners, as more signal monuments of His mercy.” (2)
If we strive for perfection, he tells us, we rely primarily on Source’s grace.
“The greater perfection a soul aspires after, the more dependent it is upon divine grace.” (3)
Nothing’s impossible when we seek Source’s grace, Paramahansa Ramakrishna tells us.
“What if you are [householders]? Through His grace even the impossible becomes possible.” (4)
Nothing has to stop us from connecting with our creator, and we’re the only ones who can keep ourselves from finding and maintaining this connection.
Only when our minds are open and our hearts are capable of receiving the divine inspiration that comes directly from Source will we access these higher qualities, and as a lot of seekers have discovered, grace is one of the most potent qualities Source offers us.
When we can open up and stay open, we’ll transcend the illusory limitation that’s convinced us we’re little more than finite humans who can’t convene with our creator in a real or pure way. It requires an open mind, a receptive heart and faith in ourselves and the divinely inspired things we’ve come to this world to do, but by no means is it impossible.
Leading a ‘spiritual life’ here on earth is quite difficult, Ramakrishna points out.
“Why shouldn’t one be able to lead a spiritual life in the world? But it is extremely difficult. … There are many ties on a worldly man. There is no way for him to get rid of them except through the grace of God.” (5)
When our perception’s fixed solely on Source and the spiritual nature of our existence, transcending the limiting qualities that have chained us to the earth will be a breeze. We’ll easily access the love that creates our reality, and our higher selves, guides, etc. and Source him/herself will be there for us in our most difficult times.
Any difficulty we face will only last as long as we let it, and our communion with Source will be as easy and free-flowing as we’ve always wanted it to be when we can let go of our focus on this external reality.
It all starts with the decision to live unflinchingly in love and refrain from giving in to the lower qualities that have held humanity back for centuries, and in time, every seeker will see that being of the world doesn’t have to disqualify us from feeling and acting on our spirituality.
Through Source’s grace, even the hardest feats can be achieved with an open and loving heart, Ramakrishna tells us.
“They are heroes indeed who can pray to God in the midst of worldly activities. They are like men who strive for God-realization while carrying heavy loads on their heads. Such men are real heroes.
“You may say that this is extremely difficult. But is there anything, however hard, that cannot be achieved through God’s grace? His grace makes even the impossible possible. If a lamp has been brought into a room that has been dark a thousand years, does it illumine the room little by little? The room is lighted all at once.” (6)
Even if we’ve lived in the dark all of our lives, all we need to do to receive Source’s grace is open up and ask for it. We’ll be illuminated instantly, but it might seem like a long process of growth and refinement because we’ll have to work through the mind-driven barriers that have kept us from connecting with Source.
The moment we seek any sort of greater spiritual perception or inspiration, Source and his/her angelic helpers instantly get to work connecting with us. They help us embark on what can be a long journey of growth and refinement, and with their help and a lot of effort, patience and diligence, we eventually find the greater perception we seek.
We’ll all eventually connect with our creator, but this can only happen when everyone’s mental barriers have been torn down or transcended and we all empower the idea of using our spirituality to make the connection. Through Source’s grace, even a lost society like ours will find the light and spiritually thrive.
Ramakrishna also poses the question, “Is it possible to obtain God’s grace just like that? A beggar may get a penny, if he asks for it. But suppose he asks you right off for his train fare. How about that?” (7)
I think Ramakrishna intends to say that even though it might sound crazy, we can receive a wealth of grace and inspiration from Source (which’ll help us greatly along the path), as opposed to a little bit here and there.
If we’re truly dedicated to perceiving spirit and the wonders that come with it, Source will fill us to the brim with his/her energy and inspiration. We’ll be filled with light from head to toe, because we’ll have made multiple solid efforts to find a higher state of consciousness.
We’ll have long transcended the constant wants and desires of the ego, and the result will be that we’re in a pure and centered enough frame of mind to perceive everything our omnipotent creator has for us.
Ramana Maharishi tells us that we can only do so much to transcend the ego and act on Source’s loving guidance. Once we reach a certain level, the divine takes over.
“You need not eliminate the wrong ‘I.’ All that you need do is to find out its origin and abide there. Your efforts can extend only thus far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach it.” (8)
He reminds us that “Faith, Love, Grace are all your nature, the Self.” (9)
Given that these qualities are our nature, we can embrace them and, in doing so, embark on the aforementioned process of transcending everything that isn’t us; everything that constitutes our illusory selves instead of the spiritual selves we’ve come to earth to embody and use to help others perceive spirit.
We’re here to use our greater spiritual perception to heal and uplift this planet, and only when we return to the basic, simplistic qualities we’ve always embodied will we be able to do this. It might be difficult for some in the beginning, but if we’ve learned anything by now, it’s that nothing’s impossible.
According to Maharishi, after we practice submerging ourselves in the blissful vibrations of our spiritual Self for a long time, Source will take the wheel and we’ll constantly feel and experience his/her infinite love.
“By repeated practice one can become accustomed to turning inwards and finding the Self. One must always and constantly make an effort, until one has permanently realized.
“Once the effort ceases, the state becomes natural and the Supreme takes possession of the person with an unbroken current. Until it has become permanently natural and your habitual state, know that you have not realized the Self, only glimpsed it.” (10)
Many of us will have to practice quite a lot before we can swim in the vibrations of the spiritual Self without hindrance, but after so much diligent practice, a switch will seem to be flipped. We’ll suddenly be able to feel and perceive spirit in a much realer and purer way than we did when we worked so hard, and we’ll constantly benefit from this connection.
It’s been said that ‘those who are enlightened live in a constant state of amazement’, and if we diminish our mind-driven perspective and access this perceptual state, our reality will seem to change instantly.
We’ll perceive a wealth of greater spiritual phenomena that’ll help us see that our reality truly is spiritual, and our positive influence will radiate out to waves of others who might’ve had trouble awakening to spirit without our energetic assistance.
So many wonderful and perceptually expanding things can happen when we seek Source with an open mind and heart, and through his/her undying grace, our inner flow will eventually be so strong that it spills into our outer reality, uplifting us and everyone around us who’s been lost in the darkness of the lower vibrations for a very long time.
In an answer to a question that was asked of him, Ramana Maharishi tells us that grace is our natural state of being.
Question: “How can I obtain Grace?
Answer: “Grace is the Self. That also is not to be acquired; you only need to know that it exists. The sun is brightness only. It does not see darkness.
“Yet you speak of darkness fleeing on the sun’s approach. So also the devotee’s ignorance, like the phantom of darkness, vanishes at the look of the Guru. You are surrounded by sun-light; yet if you would see the sun, you must turn in its direction and look at it. So also Grace is found by the proper approach you make, though it is here and now.” (11)
How we seek or perceive spirit is important, and even though any and every belief system can eventually lead the seekers who empower them back home, we’ll want to make sure our approach to finding Source is helpful for our overall growth and evolution.
We’ll want to make sure our practices don’t block any particular perception or ability, because it’s easy to look at one aspect of the big picture while accidentally overlooking another. We’ll want the greatest and fullest view of spirit we can attain while we’re on earth, and we can attain this view by turning within and allowing spirit to take the perceptual wheel and steer.
We’ll be very glad we made an effort to let spirit express itself through us, because the things we’ll perceive on the other side of the veil will continuously confirm spirit’s reality and the reality of the bliss we’ve always been able to feel.
We can constantly access this bliss, but most people have unknowingly turned away from it in favor of the finite materiality that’d keep us from perceiving spirit forever if we let it. Our quest for love and spirit will pick up from here on out if we nurture our growing perception, and with every bit of awareness we gain, we’ll want to know more; feel more; perceive more.
We’ll want to keep our inner well of spirituality and creativity flowing, and we’ll want to do it with an open mind and a willing heart that can transmit Source’s energies and expressions easily, clearly and distinctively.
When we unflinchingly surrender to our Christhood, any earthly misery ends completely, Maharishi tells us.
Question: “Cannot Grace hasten ripeness in the seeker?
Answer: “Leave it all to the Master. Surrender to Him without reserve.
“One of two things must be done; either surrender yourself, because you realize your inability and need a Higher Power to help you; or investigate into the cause of misery, go into the Source and so merge in the Self. Either way, you will be free from misery. God or Guru never forsakes the devotee who has surrendered himself.” (12)
No matter which route we take, we’ll inevitably connect with our creator – we just have to be willing to pursue the route we choose instead of knowingly faltering.
With the potential we now have to explore our consciousness and anchor a wealth of greater energies onto the surface and collective consciousness of this planet, we have little reason not to open-mindedly embrace the paths that are leading us back into the higher realms and invite everyone else to do the same.
Love will always be an important aspect of our rediscovery of Source, and with love by our side and the willingness to really explore ourselves while adhering to certain helpful qualities, we’ll easily transcend the obstacles that have held us back in the past. We’ll willingly open our arms to Source, and in doing so, transform all of our pain and misery.
In order to experience a smooth and free-flowing existence, we’ll have to transcend everything about this physical reality that keeps us from rediscovering Source. We’ll have to allow them to dissipate into the dust they always were, and we’ll have to be so willing to explore our spirituality that we care little for other, more appetizing earthly things we once embraced.
We transcend limitation as we transcend physical desire, and full, unhindered surrender to ourselves and the Source of our existence will always help us find a higher vibration.
In our final quote, Bernadette Roberts confirms what so many teachers have said here about connecting with Source.
“At a certain point, when we have done all we can [to bring about an abiding union with the divine], the divine steps in and takes over.” (13)
Effort’s always required in the beginning, but after we show so much effort and incentive, our work is duly noted by Source (and our higher self/our guides) and we’re practically whisked away into a greater spiritual perception that helps us perceive and understand, for the first time in a long time, the spiritual and blissful nature of our reality.
I don’t know about any of you, but I look forward to the time when all of humanity’s aware of spirit and willing to do the inner work that’s required to re-find the higher realms. The seekers who’ve completed the most potent of their inner work can tell us that there are uncountable benefits to opening up to Source and allowing the divine flow to take over from there.
I’m just starting to experience these benefits, and from what I’ve felt and perceived so far, I‘m convinced that fading deep into our sacred center is well worth our time and effort.
It requires us to give up any mental or ego-driven attachments to this reality or how others perceive us, which can involve some painful ego death, but it’s worth it to feel the blissful vibrations that result from being fully immersed in the Self.
Every seeker would benefit from opening their minds, closing their egos and going within for lengthy periods of time, and I think the best way to do it is to use our creativity in a meditative way.
I’m meditating as I write this, for example, and I think my higher self’s primarily responsible for a lot of the things I write. Of course, I’m ‘responsible’ for them in the sense that I take responsibility for the things I put here, but I’m working with the meditative influence of the higher self and, I’d imagine, Source him/herself.
We can all open up and receive this divine guidance, and all it takes is the endless willingness and fortitude that’ll see us onward in difficult or stressful times.
It’s time for everyone to open up to spirit, and through the grace of Source and the pure love we can now access and share with everyone around us, the world will open up. It’s only a matter of our fading concept of time, and the harder each of us works, the easier it’ll be for the rest of humanity to become aware.
The more we’re immersed in the blissful and loving vibrations of the sacred Self, the easier it’ll be for everyone else to immerse themselves in these vibrations when the time comes.
Let’s increase our work and perceive/share as much divine energy and inspiration as we can in preparation for the time when all of humanity’s awake, aware and willing to do what needs done to change this planet and collectively embrace spirituality and love.
Until we can be the examples of divinely inspired change, the rest of the world will have difficulty perceiving sprit. When we’re ready, however, everyone else will quickly become ready.
- Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God. Mount Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper Press, 1963, 19.
- Ibid., 14.
- Ibid., 22.
- Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 293.
- Ibid., 1016.
- Ibid., 1014-5.
- Ibid., 351.
- Munagala Venkatramiah, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Downloaded from http://www.ramana-maharshi.org/books.htm, 31 August 2005, Question 197.
- S.S. Cohen, Guru Ramana. Memories and Notes. 6th edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1993, 42.
- Paul Brunton and Munagala Venkataramaiah. Conscious Immortality. Conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi. Rev. ed. 1996, n.p.
- Sri Ramana Maharshi. Maharshi’s Gospel. Books I and II. Being Answers of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi to Questions Put to Him by Devotees. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam,1979; c1939, 39.
- Loc. cit.
- Bernadette Roberts, “The Path to No-Self” in Stephan Bodian, ed. Timeless Visions, Healing Voices. Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1991, 131.
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