Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hope, Grace, and Spiritual Education


Yes, my friend, there is plenty of hope for those who do not "understand spiritual things." For ultimate "salvation"-- being "saved" from ignorance and from the lower nature-- depends not upon our personal education, but upon "grace." This is the motivation (desire) of Love (God; Godmind; Lovemind) to "save us" from the wretched "hell" of Love's absence. (The "absence of Lovemind or God is impossible; herefore this "hellstate" must be illusion. It is being lost in ignorance.)

Spiritual education can rescue or save us from this ignorance. It can allow us to act in voluntary Love, deliberately and consciously cooperating with the will of God. It can bring us, and enormously expand, Love, joy, peace, goodness, and the other "fruits of the Spirit" in our lives. (Ga 5:22)

But as good, beautiful and enriching as spiritual education is, it is not the ultimate root or cause of our salvation. For the ultimate cause is the Love that liberates us in a way that mere intellectual understanding never could. We are saved not by understanding, but by loving. And we are saved not because we are "good" or "smart," but because God (Love) wills or wants it. We are saved not because of what we know, but because of what we become, under the Power of God's grace. For we are saved when we become beings of Love, incarnations of Love, as the masters did.

No matter what mistakes we make, no matter how stupid or lost we become, the Mind of God is not limited by our lack of knowledge, understanding, or wisdom. So, if we must spend centuries lost in "sin" (error), and spend some time even in the "hell" of illusion, the will for our ultimate salvation is not changed by these side-trips into foolishness. So, while we cannot say that "sin" is ever the active will of God, we can see that errors are permitted to exist as teaching-elements or learning-components of our lives.

Is this a "license" to sin? No, for error always brings the karma of agony, pain, loss, and suffering. Sin creates such utter nightmare that everyone with half a brain wants to avoid it whenever and however possible. Even the promise and knowing of infinite forgiveness does not make sin "fun" or even tolerable; it still creates the agonies of various "hells," which must then be outgrown through education.

This "education" is life itself-- not intellectual assimilation or understanding, which is the usual definition of "education." So, it is not limited to intellectual or "smart" people. This vital form of education comes to everyone, all the time. It is the education of touching a hot stove, and being burned, so that the stove is not touched again while it is on.

Spiritual education is the very best investment in your self and in the world possible. Why? Not because it produces salvation, which it does not. But because it lessens the time that we must spend in confusion, darkness, agony, and hell. The more that we know what is really going on, the greater our understanding of God (Love), the better becomes our quality of life. We can welcome more Love, tranquility, and bliss into our lives, and make each day better, for ourselves and for everyone else. For true spiritual education teaches us Love, including forgiveness. It has no other goal.

No comments: