”Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Christ Jesus, Matthew 5: 48).
In the physical realm of existence, perfection is something we rarely see or experience. Oh, sometimes an artist’s creation has utilized the qualities of balance, color, proportion and inner vision in such a way that expresses itself in a near-perfect picture or form, or someone constructs an object with unusual mathematical precision; but still, a flaw can be found somewhere in the material form produced, because its human ‘creator’ was flawed. So, it’s hard to accept the notion that perfection can be applied to the human condition or any member of the human race.
This seems to make the directive to be perfect (which Christ Jesus issued to his followers, throughout time) something we need not take to heart. It sounds like an impossible attainment to ask a fleshly, human being to be perfect, in either body or character. From a material standpoint, we’re all physically flawed in some ways. Physical perfection is an ideal that doesn’t really exist.
But it’s that very distinction that Jesus was trying to make throughout his ministry and teachings. He wasn’t speaking of physical perfection—he was always speaking of our underlying spiritual perfection as children of infinite Spirit, God.
The movie, “Children of a Lesser God,” (which came out some years ago) was about a young, deaf woman, trying to cope with her handicap and find her own place in a hearing world. It was a good movie, I thought—but I was struck by the title, which implied that handicaps, along with all material flaws, were to be laid at the feet of God. ‘Why did God do this to any of Its children?’ is the implied question. ‘Why would an infinitely Intelligent and Perfect Creator create a flawed body, or mind, in any of Its creation?’
The answer to these questions concerning material flaws is: God didn’t do it. All my life, I’ve heard God blamed for the flaws, evils and disasters of the human experience. Yet, whatever the material imperfection, God had no part in its ‘creation’. And since God is not the Creator of imperfections and misery, it is well to open one’s thought to the notion that although God didn’t do it, the Almighty just may be the way out of it. Why? Because instead of “children of a lesser God,” we’re really the Children of the Only God, who is infinite Spirit. God’s true creation, including all identities, is spiritual, not material. Therein lies all the difference.
Actually, all the so-called ‘miracles’ which Jesus taught his disciples to do, all the healings of sick minds and bodies the Master accomplished during his brief ministry, were proofs that humanity is not the collective off-spring of a “lesser” God, but, rather, the off-spring of the Only God…the loving, spiritual Intelligence which underlies all reality.
The intelligence of the infinite Spirit we call God, innate within every child created, strikes down the belief that imperfections—flaws, handicaps, sicknesses, sins, aging and death—belong to the children of God. God’s own off-spring cannot actually exist in a material state, although all our physical senses tell us otherwise. Our substance is spiritual; and because it is spiritual, it’s capable of being everlastingly whole.
Transformation of fleshly flaws is what the spiritual healing, (which Jesus practiced and tried to teach to others) accomplishes. Realization of our innate perfection as Spirit's own children begins at once to first clear our mind of fear, and then as we let go of earthly, material beliefs in consciousness, our physical form transforms to a healthier state. Consciousness builds a better outward form.
From the comprehension that spiritual perfection and wholeness belongs to each of us, as a child of God, comes the physical normalization which we call healing. Once this comprehension dawns in human consciousness, the accepted, physical cause of the imperfection doesn’t matter. The imperfection will disappear in the transformation to normalcy, since there is no real power to interfere with God’s own spiritual creation, which is actually present, right where the physical body and identity seems to be. Restoration of proper hearing was just one of the handicaps Jesus demonstrated for humanity, while preaching that this invisible, spiritual kingdom of heaven was at hand.
Finding our spiritual perfection is the same thing as finding the Kingdom of God, or God’s heavenly harmony, which Jesus referred to when he uttered, “…the Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17: 21) It means that the realization, or knowledge of God’s spiritual creation as ever-present, including our own truer identities, is sleeping within our innate spiritual memory, which contains all truth of being. In our innate memory (sometimes referred to as the Christ Consciousness within) perfection is easy to accept about ourselves. It’s easy to accept once we realize that man is, and never was, a creator. We aren’t the children of two physical beings (these are the lesser gods); we’re the children of the only true Creator, Source, and Origin. That One is Spirit. Thus, only the laws of Spirit rule reality, on any level or dimension of thought we’re occupying at any time in our eternal existence. The material dimension is no exception.
Belief in a power opposed to God brings all the imperfections of this material-seeming realm. The material realm is really thought externalized, not an actual universe of material substance and law. Material so-called law will work, only so long as we believe in it as a power opposed to God’s spiritual all-power. Everything is within us, in that sense. Our beliefs, (usually a collection of world beliefs we’ve accepted, that existed before our entry in the human scene) produce all the ills of the flesh. The physical universe is our collective, shared consciousness and faulty interpretation of the spiritual universe. It’s the infinite, re-created as the finite. It’s mortality trying to capture and hold immortality in a physical form.
Yet, like produces like. A spiritual Creator creates only spiritual off-spring. And as we come back to the remembrance of ourselves as spiritual beings, in that way we comprehend and ‘see’ our perfection as God’s children. But we cannot demonstrate or prove this perfection in the way of spiritual healing, until we mentally, spiritually perceive it. In other words, we shall never be perfect human beings, with a physical body, soul, or mind; we are, instead, spiritual beings who believe ourselves to be “children of a lesser God”—children of a material God. When we awaken to this mental state of mistaken identity, we can obey the Master healer’s command to “…be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven (spiritual realm) is perfect.” (my parenthesis).
Paul the Apostle addressed the fraudulent, material identity and the true, spiritual identity upheld by God, when he wrote: “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.” “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Corinthians 15: 49-50, 53-54).
An important thing to notice about Paul’s message is how many times he uses the phrase “put on.” He doesn’t say we must die and go to some place called heaven to be incorruptible or immortal. He uses ‘put on’ to indicate that we must mentally accept perfection of mind and body as part of our being now, as we would put on garments on our body forms, making them become a part of our image. We must perceive and realize that perfection of character and immortality are already a part of us as spiritual children and the image and likenesses of God, the Perfect One.
We don’t have to earn, or attain these innate qualities of our spiritual identities. They already belong to us. We’re already incorruptible in our true selfhood. We’re already immortal and will never die in our spiritual selfhood. As immortal beings, we were never really trapped in finite forms we call the fleshly body. Our true body, soul and mind are spiritual in substance and intelligence—not mortal or even touched by the false states of existence we manifest and experience when accepting the falsities of this illusion of materiality.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying it’s easy. Putting on our spiritual identity means a mental kind of death to the physical sense of ourselves. Our comfort zone is really threatened when we attempt to re-identify our fleshly selves back to our spiritual self, however true it is. It is, as the saying goes, “A work in progress!”
Also, sometimes our acceptance of a mental or character fault can be more demoralizing than a physical flaw. I’m in my sixties now, and recently I struggled with a glaring fault I had lived with all these years in my character. I decided it was time to heal this “incorruption”.
When I finally spent about a week praying and claiming my perfection of character as a child of God, I saw that I had to uncover what material belief was at work, in my human consciousness that had held me so long in repeatedly ‘acting out’ in the way this fault dictated. Claiming that my Christ Consciousness knew all truth, and thus could bring forth the lie that was holding me, it came to my thought that this was a physical hereditary claim, highlighting that this same fault seemed to apply to my human father. In a sense, I was copying my father’s manner in the way that I couldn’t seem to master.
I’d sometimes heard that I was like my dad, but I hadn’t seen this as pertaining to this particular fault. Now, I knew that I must see through this material lie that my origin came from physical, human parents. God is the only creator, and this flaw didn’t exist in the Perfect One, whose image and likeness I really was. Jesus once said, “…call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” (Matthew 23: 9). I realized that this was a command I should obey more fully, for it was the reason I accepted this fault about myself.
It also came to my thought not to attach this fault to my human ‘father’. Every identity in existence, throughout God’s entire universe, has the same origin of love, intelligence, and perfection. My human dad was just as spiritually perfect as I was spiritually perfect—perfect in the image of our shared, divine Parent.
Needless to say, what really happened was a change of thought about myself. A sense of self-condemnation left me. Instead of trying to get rid of something bad in my character and being, I now saw that I was to reject this character flaw as ever having been a part of me, or anyone in the human sense of a hereditary chain. Everyone was free of this fault.
And I’m still transforming. For the last several weeks, I’ve stopped what I felt was this chronic behavior pattern in its tracks. I’ve had a couple of steps backwards, but no self-condemnation followed. I just got ‘back on that horse’ of spiritual perfection as God’s off-spring, and I’ll continue this until all remnants of this behavior pattern stop occurring. I now no longer accept the material lie that this fault is part of me.
Human imperfections are different with each individual. But we’re all alike in their remedy. The remedy is always in our denying that incorruption and mortality belong to us, and ‘putting on’ our true identity, the Christ identity, wherein no imperfection dwells. For Jesus was showing us that the Christ, or spiritually perfect identity, belonged, not just to him, but to each of us. That’s why the healings which took place during his ministry (and for a few hundreds of years after) applied to everyone and every disease and discord that tried to attach itself to anyone.
In this humanly mental level of existence, I don’t know how long it takes to awaken to the fullness of whole, spiritual being. I don’t know how many levels of thought there are to experience, or whether we have many fleshly life experiences before the spiritual light within moves us onward and upward. I only believe, and have proved many times for myself, that whatever we want to be, we already are in our true identities. Every day gives each of us glimpses of a divine selfhood within, and new opportunities to prove it, with the spiritual healings which transform the human scene. Reaching full enlightenment is, indeed, a fascinating ‘work in progress’—and as with all endeavors, the more one seeks it, the more one finds along the way.