Friday, April 26, 2019

I AM A SEEKER

I am seeking greater light and truth from Eternal realms. Humbly seeking knowledge from the highest Source. Recognizing that i of myself am nothing & nobody, and of my mortal self am not able to even discern rightly, nor to clearly understand much at all, & especially not able to judge other people’s motives actions thoughts feelings or innermost needs, therefore i feel it is foolish to trust in the arm of flesh (“arm of flesh” meaning either another human OR myself & my five senses & my limited perception of things, and my faulty reasoning ability, assumptions, judgments & decisions). Instead, i want to turn to God and his word, place my trust in God alone, ask for his guidance, seek his mind & will always, come to know him, and help other people draw closer to him too. I wish to better hear his voice, and to walk in his paths. I desire to serve others (and in so doing, to serve God), as opposed to being preoccupied with whatever serves my individual self and my own wants & needs, self-interest or any of my own ambitions to prosper, to accomplish things, or to “get ahead” in this world. or even to earn a reward for myself in the next life (since selfishness=sin). 

Daily & hourly i realize that i stand in need of a portion of true understanding & wisdom, insight, intelligence, virtue & instruction from the Eternal One, in order to love & serve & do good to my fellow beings as i feel God would like me to do. I fall short all the time, but ideally, i would ask, seek, listen, & learn to hear the Lord’s voice/words at all times & in all places, and then follow (think, feel, say, & do) accordingly, moment by moment, being guided in the Lord’s ways & footsteps. After all, every good thing in existence originates from the divine Godhead: YAHWEH (God the Father) and his son YAHSHUA ha Mashiach (Jesus the Messiah), who is our Savior and also is the perfect example & pattern for all humankind to follow in order to come into perfect unity & harmony with the Father & Son, of one heart & one mind, by the gift & power of the unifying holy spirit. 

I have come to understand that the holy spirit isn’t a person or a being at all, but instead is God’s LIVING light & mind (consciousness); it is the power & love-energy of God himself, which radiates out from him. This living energy, this "intelligence", is never stagnant, can't be hoarded, and can only be IN us to whatever degree it is flowing THROUGH us to bless the lives of others and to benefit the whole world. If we try to bottle it up & selfishly keep more of it for ourselves, then it will soon disappear, like salt that has lost its savor or a candle hidden under a bushel. It's like the light shining from the sun, only millions of times brighter, filling & encompassing the entire universe(s) and penetrating each heart, and it’s also like a fountain of living water springing up from within our innermost being, or like a stream (remember the song, "give, said the little stream"? God's living energy/spirit is exactly like that). God, through this spirit (his spirit), is our light, our life, our very being, our every breath, our food & drink, our true home, everything we could ever want or need, but we need to always "go with the flow" of the spirit or it will diminish in us.

(I'm not a linear or a deductive thinker at all, instead my way of thinking and communicating is divergent and abstract, so please pardon my tendency to jump all over the place and become distracted in what i'm trying to express here. I've been pegged as a  blue/white e5w7 and Aquarius with Pisces cusp and INFP [that is, a slightly introverted intuitive who is people-oriented, heart-centered, and prefers to keep all options open and to always keep learning more & more before making any decisions or narrowing anything down or judging/deciding anything at all], so to me everything is connected and ideas that i think about or talk about just keep expanding and expanding infinitely and going off on tangents all over the place, rather than focusing down to a point. But that's just a facet of my ego-self, which i'm working at transcending). 

God encompasses all of the personality types, which by the way are based upon the theories of Carl Jung. Before i had ever learned or studied any of this stuff, a sudden unexpected vision was opened up to me one day as i was praying, part of which was a beautiful mandala in continuous motion, which encompasses everything that ever existed and consists of two great forces: one expanding out from the center, and the other holding everything together and bringing everything back towards the center. [I now know, after researching and studying, that what i saw was called a mandala, but i had no idea at the time what it was, or what was happening to me, and i was completely startled and taken by surprise. I only knew that this vision was much more REAL than anything here in this mortal life]. The mandala pattern represented everything in existence, from the infinitely small to the infinitely vast. God was at the center, and God was also the entire thing, and all parts within the mandala were in motion, like an ever-changing kaleidoscope. Lights of all colors were going outwards like a spherical firework, and there were also little expanding circles everywhere within the vast sphere, like smaller spherical fireworks, and, like spokes on a wheel there were also conduits or connections from the Center to each part of the whole. Some small circles were growing dimmer and smaller as they were moving out further & further away from the Center, out to the very edges, while other small circles that had previously gone out were now moving back towards the Center, and were expanding and growing brighter & brighter as they moved closer to the middle, until they grew to encompass the entire Circle and become One with it. I have spent years trying to understand all the meanings & nuances of this mandala or sacred geometry pattern that was shown to me. That's the only time anything even remotely close to that experience has ever happened to me, and no, i've never taken any illegal drugs or substances, nor have i ever hallucinated.

I love reading the scriptures, and studying and searching them too, becoming immersed in them, especially the words of the Lord and also true experiences and testimonies of prophets and visionaries contained therein. Joseph Smith was another prophet and visionary, who wrote, "Thy mind O man.....(see https://www.thymindoman.com/2018/01/31). I also love reading recent modern accounts of everyday peoples' near-death experiences and watching videos of these (see http://www.youtube.com/user/IANDSvideos and IANDS.org. Many amazing first-hand accounts can be found, of meeting God and being embraced in his pure light and love & being taught many wonderful truths. Additionally, much truth can be found in the writings of mystics throughout the ages such as Hildegard of Bingen, Clare of Assisi, Beatrice of Nazareth, Julian of Norwich, The Cloud of Unknowing, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Jakob Boehme, George Fox, Jeanne Guyon, Ann Lee, and Therese of Lisieux, to name a few. But we don’t have to wait until we die to have these same encounters, nor content ourselves in only reading about others' experiences with God. He lives! He is always nearer than our every breath. He calls us to commune with him and with the heavenly hosts of beings. Each of us are spiritual beings currently having a human experience here on earth, but we can still have spiritual experiences too! We can commune with him in our lives right now if we invite him in, and by faith we can walk & talk with him, hear his voice and even see his face.

I refer to the one true God as "He", but of course God transcends all human categories and definitions and is greater than anything that we can ever imagine or express in our language. Perhaps it's foolish of me to even try. Perhaps his name can help us learn something about him.... (see https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/10-things-yahweh-means).

God has revealed that his name is Yahweh (spelled in Hebrew with four letters, which in the English alphabet correspond to YHWH). We are sometimes told that God's name is written with four consonants and that no one knows the correct pronunciation because no one knows what the original vowels between those consonant were, but that's not really true. Actually YH & W are the only letters in Hebrew that can be either consonants OR vowels, and pronounced as vowels YHWH would be "ee-ah-oo-eh", the same as the consonants YHWH are pronounced. 

God is one. His name means "I Exist", "I Am", or "I Will Be what I Will Be". He is a whole/holy self-existent eternal BEing; actually he is "being" (consciousness/intelligence) itself, and in the beginning we were each formed in "his" image and likeness. At the time of our mortal conception & birth, we were made either male or female. It makes sense to me, and i have grown to believe, that God possesses the fullness of ALL good qualities and virtues, including both those virtues & characteristics which we mortals would consider “masculine”, and those we would label “feminine”. God encompasses the fullness of both halves. I think the Chinese were onto something with the yin-yang symbol. God is represented by the whole circle, but we mortals here on earth are usually categorized as either “male” or “female”; these genders were created in order for propagation of our species to take place, and also to show symbolically the roles of the Lord God (as male) and his bride (his people), in a way that people can understand. I believe that marriage and gender roles are meant to be a parable of Christ's union with the church (that is, with his covenant people). In this sense, all humans are symbolically "female" in relation to God.

In order for human individuals to become perfect and whole/holy though, there is only one blueprint or prototype that God has provided and welcomed EVERYONE to follow & to become EXACTLY like: His son Yahshua (Jesus). There isn’t a separate, female prototype in scripture that females are asked to emulate & become exactly like. Shouldn’t this tell us something? Perhaps that gender and gender roles and expectations are NOT eternal? Everyone, female and male alike, are invited to become perfect by becoming EXACTLY like Yahshua (Jesus) -- precisely what he is and nothing else (see Lectures on Faith 7:9). But of course we can’t do this by our own power & abilities & goals. It is done only by humbling ourselves (emptying ourselves, becoming like a blank sheet of paper), yielding our hearts & minds unto him, and asking day by day for him to share with us a portion of his spirit, character, mind, gifts, virtues, perfections, and so on. If we recognize and admit our own nothingness & nakedness (after repenting, or stripping ourselves of everything that is NOT God), then he will cover us with the robes of HIS own righteousness, and by his GRACE & power will clothe us and infuse us with increasing portions of HIS light and intelligence & virtues. As he does this, and as we continue on this path, we can gradually become more & more like Yahshua, & can do more to bless others as he would do (not seeking any reward or advantage for ourself above any other person, but desiring all of God’s children to become one and to become equal in all things, both in temporal things and in spiritual things). Each person is really God in disguise, meaning that the God part of them is the only thing that is real & eternal, and this should be remembered in all of our interactions with our fellow humans. The Lord truly meant it literally when he said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

As far as i now understand, Yahweh, or God the Father, is a personage of spirit, and his son Yahshua the Messiah is a glorified personage of tabernacle in the Father’s exact image. He is a personage of tabernacle because Yahshua was born into a physical body on earth, lived a perfect life, died to atone for our sins, then was resurrected or raised from the dead in a perfect glorified tabernacle (body). The Father’s spirit body is made of pure spirit matter (intelligence) in a solidified spiritual form and can only be in one place at one time, as can the Son’s glorified physical body. I believe that the Father and Son can appear as one being or separately, can materialize & de-materialize at will, go through walls, be "teleported" instantly anywhere in time or space, yet still can technically only be in one place at one time. But God’s mind, which the Father & Son share since they are literally of one heart & one mind, this "mind of God" or holy spirit/ consciousness/ intelligence/ glory/ knowledge/ love/ light/ righteousness/ power/ influence etc., radiates out from Him/Them, to fill all the immensity of space and to shine forth THROUGH all their followers and servants. By way of this holy spirit (the limitless mind/consciousness of God, which has been fully shared & given to Yahweh's son Yahshua as well, that they may be one)...by this means He/they are everywhere present, being in all things and through all things and round about all things, emanating life & light (and intelligence/consciousness/love/power etc.) throughout the universe(s). 

It appears that this spirit matter, or intelligence (containing light, truth, love, POWER, glory, righteousness, joy, faith, hope, & all virtues) is similar to physical matter except that it is more refined and pure. So, like physical matter, it may have varying states. We know that the four states of physical matter are solid, liquid, gas, and plasma, and spirit matter may be similar. Spirit bodies (“solid” form of spirit) are quickened by spirit in “liquid” form rather than by blood. And the “gaseous” form of spirit is like a great cloud of glory ever expanding to fill the entire universe(s), carrying all light, knowledge and virtues, including God’s great power and love. Perhaps the 4th state, spirit plasma, is like unto fire. The point is that all spirit matter, in whatever form & whatever degree or brightness, is pure consciousness, is God’s living mind, & carries the virtues & gifts & energy of God to enlighten all whom it enters into. “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.” (D&C 50:24). This means we can be “quickened” by greater & greater amounts or degrees of his spirit (glory), as our capacity to receive it grows.

We are all part of God. We would not be capable of any thought or understanding or any positive emotions, or even be alive, except that God has “lent” to each of us a small portion of HIS own life/light/consciousness (intelligence). But it’s still HIS, even though it’s on loan to us, and that’s how he knows all our thoughts & feelings. Pure consciousness (spirit matter) preceded all physical matter. Consciousness, not physical matter, is the ground of all being in the cosmos and is the deepest reality. In other words, God has always existed as pure conscious intelligent spirit, long before any stars, planets, suns, moons, rocks, plants, animals, etc. came into existence. Nothing but God existed in the beginning. He was, and is, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere present, and unchanging, possessing and sharing everything good that exists. God possessed (and still possesses) all intelligence in existence, so there is nothing outside of him. No light, life, goodness, or intelligence (consciousness, that is, spirit matter) outside of his intelligence. So no separate eternal “intelligences” outside of him. 

Yahweh and the power/glory (spirit matter, mind, intelligence) of Yahweh and the Word of Yahweh have always existed and are upholding all things & knowing all things & all thoughts, giving life to all things, and embracing and comprehending all things. And in reality we humans are all one also; that is, we are parts of the One, because we live & move & have our being only within this all-encompassing One God’s mind, like bubbles in the ocean. We each have been gifted a spark of Yahweh’s own divine Consciousness (spirit matter), set off into our own separate little spheres, and before we received a physical body we each received a spirit body, also formed of his divine substance (our spirit bodies were formed by God’s power, by his mind & will, not the same way physical bodies are conceived & born). The spirit-light within us, & of which our spirit bodies are composed, is literally part of God’s spirit substance, part of God’s consciousness, which is our True Self & true identity. Therefore to know your True Self is to know God. But when we were born into mortality, that spirit part of us was covered by a veil and we each “fell asleep”, fell out of touch with & and forgot our true divine identity. The intelligence we have each diverted unto ourselves in this life, and the false ego-self that we have each invented & built up for our own (usually) selfish benefit, is just an illusion and will soon come to an end & fall apart. But in our society today we are taught false traditions such as love of self (meaning love of our FALSE self, our ego-self), and having high “self-esteem” & a good self “image”. I believe that perhaps the Lord is alluding to this love of self image/idol when he said, “They seek not the Lord to establish HIS righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.” (D&C 1:16). In other words, many people today are worshiping themselves and trying to prove (to themselves & others) that they themselves are right or are righteous, and to justify themselves, because self is the most important thing to them. But even that which they THINK is their self is actually an illusion. It's a false distorted image that they have set up as an idol. They are trying to establish their OWN righteousness and self-image apart from God. But actually there is NONE good but ONE: that is, God! (see Matthew 19:17, Mark 10:18, and Luke 18:19). Also "none that doeth good" Romans 3:12, Psalm 14:3, Psalm 53:3; "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his OWN WAY, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6. 

This false "ego-self" is what scriptures call the “natural man” or the “old man”, that we must "put off" or let die or stop identifying with, and instead start identifying with our True Self (God) again, or the God-seed within our souls, and we should put ON the Lord and his robes of righteousness so that we can become exactly like him by his grace. He will give us everything we need in order to do this, if we will humble ourselves (empty ourselves) before him & ask seek & knock. But many won't do this, because they say "I am [or am working to become] rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing...[but God says], knowest not thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked?" (Rev. 3:17). Most people refuse to really come down into the depths of humility, strip themselves of pride, sins, jealousies, distractions, false traditions, stumbling blocks, anger, contention, self-righteousness, their identity, ego, etc. and realize their nakedness & nothingness before God. But the entire law in the the Old Testament was mainly given so that the honest in heart, after trying & FAILING over & over to keep all the rules & laws & commandments, would come down into the depths (hit bottom) & realize their weakness & nothingness & nakedness, and thus their need for a Savior (for NO ONE has kept the law perfectly except Yahshua, so everyone except him is forever disqualified for heaven on their own merits, even if they repent. As James 2:10 says, "Whosoever keeps the whole Law [of God] but fails in one point is guilty of breaking ALL of it.")....but if they realize this, & hit bottom & cry out to him with all their heart & soul, he will come & cover their nakedness with HIS mercy and grace, and make everything new! Most people misunderstand the true meaning of 2 Nephi 25:23: "we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." The reformer John Wesley described God's grace as threefold: prevenient (enabling) grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace. The first kind has the effect of enabling us to begin to exercise faith, to pray, or to feel or think or do or say anything GOOD, ever. According to umc.org, Wesley understood grace as God's active presence in our lives. It is a gift---a gift that is always available, but that can be refused. God takes the initiative in relating to humanity. He actively seeks us! God's grace stirs up within us a desire to know God and empowers us to respond to God's invitation to be in relationship with him. God's grace enables us to discern differences between good and evil and makes it possible for us to choose good.

Yahweh's son came into a mortal body as Yahshua (Jesus), and the Son humbly adhered to & followed the Father’s mind & will & voice & his own True Self so completely and perfectly, that Yahweh gave his own name & the fullness of his own power/righteousness/mind/glory unto his Son, who wishes to share the same with us if we will receive it. He will share the fullness with us if we follow the path he has laid out for us: faith in Yahweh & in his son Yahshua the Messiah, repentance, baptism by water, & baptism by fire. We haven't truly been baptized yet until we receive the baptism of fire, because baptism in water is just a symbol, a form, of the real thing. When we receive the unspeakable gift from God of the baptism of fire from heaven, then we become a new person & are “quickened” as if raised from the dead. Or, it's like being really awake for the first time in this life, as if all was a dream before. It's much more real than what we call "reality" here on the earthly plane. Spirit substance and light and power flows/shines into “every fiber of our being”, from the crown of our head to the soles of our feet. 

Yahshua/Jesus was faithful in mortality unto his True Self (Higher Self), that is, unto Yahweh, God the Father. So after a time, the Father gave his Fullness (access to ALL of his mind & power & intelligence, which knows everything & fills the whole universe, & is in & through & round about all things) unto the Son upon the earth. Thus the Son and the Father became one, or became fully unified, possessing the same MIND (the spirit that fills the immensity of space). That's why Yahshua could say (and did say) in scripture that he was both the Father and the Son. Possessing the spirit-mind of God, Yahshua could experience things from the perspective of each person (and also each animal, plant, rock, etc.), or be everywhere present if he wanted to be, in all things and through all things and round about all things. He knows perfectly what each of us is going through and what we are feeling, because he feels it with us, from our perspective, and has infinite compassion and love for us.

Above all, i am seeking Yahweh and to know Yahweh (the One & Only true & living God), and his son Yahshua the Messiah whom he has sent. They are One God. El Shaddai....the Source and Origin and Fountain of everything good in this world & also in this whole universe and beyond: every single thing and every single word or concept or thought or emotion which is good, true, beautiful, loving, kind, joyful, hopeful, peaceful, just, righteous, merciful, compassionate, uplifting, inspiring, enlightening, positive, etc. In other words, all glory and honor and power and credit for EVERY good thing be unto Yahweh the most high God. Hallelu-YAH! We ourselves can’t rightfully take credit for anything good at all here on earth....even something positive or constructive we say or do, or a good idea that we think of: if it truly IS good, positive, true, virtuous, or praiseworthy, then its actual origin is God. It’s impossible for humans to earn any reward from God by our own merits or good actions, words, or thoughts, because EVERY good thing actually originates FROM God, not from ourselves. We can seek for and lay hold upon, or incorporate, these good things (including good ideas, virtues, talents, feelings, words, abilities, accomplishments, etc.) into our lives and characters, but whenever anything good is thought of, or said or done, He deserves all the credit, not ourselves. We (our mortal selves) aren't the source of good, but we can yield ourselves & our hearts & minds to become instruments in his hands, and allow some of his goodness to flow out to others THROUGH us, freely giving unto others, rather than attempting to earn or gain any reward or benefit or gain for ourself. The more we give, the more we will receive.

I love this prayer penned by Francis of Assisi: 
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
W
here there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.


For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life. 

In this world, all the abundant good and positive things (blessings and virtues) which our wonderful Creator is constantly pouring out upon us, often become mixed and intermingled with the bad & the negative. Like wheat & tares, both good & bad are intermingled within each human and also in their human society and institutions. That’s because Yahweh has given us humans total freedom of choice, or free agency, over our thoughts and feelings, actions and attitudes (minds and hearts, bodies and spirits), and over our own inner spheres & our external spheres of influence in this world. He grants us freedom to use his freely-given gifts to do just as much good as we desire each day (to spread as much of God’s light and love and joy and knowledge and kindness to our fellow beings as we can conceive of, thus doing it unto him and incorporating these qualities within ourselves), OR on the other hand to hearken to & follow the wicked one instead and do negative (evil) if we choose to dwell on and follow the negative feelings & thoughts & attitudes the wicked one is always trying to plant in our hearts and minds, trying to get us to say cruel words, be unkind, uncaring, to belittle or hurt others, do harmful things, think negative thoughts, form negative habits and characters & self-identify as those, etc. But if we desire & choose to actively seek after all good (good thoughts, good feelings, good words, good actions), & to walk in the light of these things moment by moment and bring more & more of God’s light into the world by radiating it out to others, then we are following the Good Shepherd and abiding in him! and we are or shall become a child of Christ. Many people in this world who have never even been taught yet about God or Jesus or his scriptures or his church are doing these things already, & are thus hearing his voice & following the Good Shepherd, whether they realize it or not. After all, He is God of EVERYONE on earth, and he has said, “I am able to do my own work.” Thus he actively leads & guides & bestows good upon & cares for everyone on earth in whatever way is most fitting for their particular situation. Everyone on earth has their own direct connection to God by an “inner voice” which will lead them to do & say & think & feel good things, to whatever extent they are willing to listen & follow this voice. Day by day, day by day, oh dear Lord, three things i pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly... 

I seek daily with all my heart and soul in prayer, meditation, faith and study after Yahweh, the giver of all good gifts; the Source from which ALL GOOD springs. He can be found while walking in nature, while listening to inspiring music, and in so many different ways. Taking notice of every bit of good that exists, whether within ourselves or in another human or in nature; living things as well as in all of creation. I give thanks for all the good that God constantly rains down upon us, living in gratitude and seeking to be more aware and to always remember, to keep a prayerful mindset, and to seek for every good gift from him, so that i will have somewhat to give & to share with all my fellow humans here on our amazing world. Even when it's to my own hurt and requires voluntary self-sacrifice, i hope to always serve & help lift others up rather than putting them down in any way. I desire to help make the world a better place, by the gifts & grace of him to whom all honor and praise rightfully belongs.

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