Friday, May 25, 2007

Grace and Salvation


Grace might be the most important teaching of Christianity; it is certainly one of them.

Grace is the teaching that, contrary to human nature and ego, it is impossible to "earn" salvation. We cannot earn it because it is a gift, and you do not work to receive a gift. That would be not only inappropriate, but rude.

Salvation-- being saved from the lower animal nature, ignorance, and fear-- occurs not because we are "smart" enough to "believe the right doctrines." It does not occur because we are smarter or "better" than others, although ego-religion often feeds us this lie.

You could say that salvation is a bit "one-sided." God does all the hard work, by bringing our hearts into Himself, into Love. But we also respond to grace by learning the art of Love, goodness, and kindness, which are then expressed towards ourselves and all other living creatures. Grace produces goodness, but good activities, as wonderful as they are, do not produce grace. Here, if we are to understand, it is important to get the sequence right: Since the Love in our hearts comes from only God (that Love is God), we cannot claim credit for salvation, wisdom, or Love.

What does this mean? Simply that God (Love) can give salvation to anyone at any time. God does not give the Spirit by measure, Jesus said. No, God gives all grace-- one hundred percent-- to everyone. But people, although all receiving the same gift of grace, vary widely in their realizations of grace.

Some are caught in the terrible hell-illusion that they are completely outside of grace. No one can ever get "outside" of grace, for nothing-- no sin-- can ever be greater than God's Love, God's ability to forgive.

Realizing one hundred percent grace is the deep interior knowing that all your sins have been forgiven, all previous karma erased. It is also knowing, very deeply, that you are an eternal being, a son of God, unaffected by physical death. Finally, it is the knowing that, at a very deep (unconscious) level, your mind is part of an infinite Mind of Love and joy. You "grow out of" God as a flower grows out of its stem.

Since salvation depends on only grace, it is important not to become confused, and think that, as some religions teach, it depends on special beliefs of the intellect. Thank God that He has chosen to save the dull and ignorant, for that includes all of us!:)

This means that God can "save" whomever he will, whomever he wants. And God, as a loving father/mother, does not want any of His/Her children to perish without hope. It will take thousands, perhaps many tens of thousands, of years for the complete realization of grace to come to allhearts. But God has forever, and is not in a hurry.

So, earth is a school, where we learn all the important things of this life. We might "fail a grade" from time to time, and then, we take the course over again. But, with the passage of time, everyone will "graduate." Because of grace, God's universe will not have been a "failure."

God does not make junk, and He/She treasures very deeply every individual Soul, with incredible and intense Love. So, God is guiding, irresistibly, even the very ignorant. That is why Jesus prophesied that prostitutes, alcoholics, and sinners would "enter the kingdom" ahead of the "righteous" and religious Pharisees. (Mt. 25:35; I think that this is the correct text, but you might want to check this one.)

We can trust God's Love entirely-- a deeper meaning of faith. All our children, brothers, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends are on the Path of Truth-- even when they do not know it. The entire universe of sentient beings is headed for inevitable salvation, thanks to grace.

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