By Jan Johnston
(Re-printed from original January 2003 article)
[While posing the question, 'What's this human condition really all about, God?' here is a theological clue to ponder while reading this narrative: In the biblical story of Adam and Eve, a deep sleep falls upon Adam, after which Eve (woman) is taken from Adams' rib. Soon, woman begins giving birth physically, accounting for all the generations since Adam fell asleep. But consider this: nowhere in the Bible is it written that Adam, nor any of his descendants, ever awakened from this sleep.]
Prophets, philosophers and poets, throughout the ages, have grappled with the concept of Reality. What's life all about…is it a material state of being, a spiritual one, or both? Is there a Utopian land, somewhere beyond this existence, which promises harmony, peace, love and joy forever after, without destructive elements? People of all faiths tend to embrace such a heavenly place, but few expect it to manifest here and now. Yet, even the Christian prophet and savior, Christ Jesus, when asked about the location of such a domain said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, 'Lo here!' or, 'Lo there!' for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you," (Luke 17: 20, 21; King James Bible Version) indicating that heaven isn't a physical location, but a divine state of mind. Then, from out of the depths of his own kingdom within, his own spiritual comprehension of the true, spiritual reality, he proceeded to destroy the presence of discordant conditions in the human scene (physical and mental sickness, poverty, even death) in what is called healing. He even passed this inner knowledge on to many disciples and people, who continued to heal for nearly four hundred years after Jesus' own ascension beyond this physical plane—before the beliefs and churches of that age put a stop to those healing practices.
This same message, however, has come to human thought from many directions over time: that our very own consciousness is the key to the one, eternal harmonious existence, and that we must be consciously aware of the spiritual kingdom of God, present here and now, then trust completely in this knowledge, in order to bring out its truths in our human experience—whether it be health, supply or safety. Yet, how can we reconcile that with what seems to be the solid reality of this material realm governed by the science of physics and physical law? How does the universe of the flesh (materiality) and the universe of Spirit (God) ever meet in consciousness to bring us home to a place of universal harmony?
About five years ago, after many years in the practice of spiritual healing, I asked the infinite Intelligence, God, to let me stand back a far way, and look at the two so-called "realities" side by side. I knew that healing does occur when spiritual truth corrects one's thought from material thinking, for this is taught in religions like Christian Science and, by now, has been practiced by members of other religions as well. But I needed to know why we're in this human condition in the first place, seemingly so far from Spirit's realm—yet, right in the midst of it. In other words, how can we be in heaven now, and yet not recognize the place?
I knew the answer would come to me through my own consciousness, because this is our very link to God, the infinite Intelligence and Spirit. Like a moonbeam emanates out from its source, we emanate from our spiritual Source of all being; thus, within our own consciousness must be the link to all knowledge or truth. The following scenario is what unfolded to me, as representative of the human condition as it relates to spiritual reality; it shows how the kingdom of material form and the kingdom of God, Spirit, can seemingly be in the same place. I have presented it here, exactly as I remember it unfolding, hoping it might help those already on the spiritual path, as well as those who, only now, are placing their feet on the yellow-brick-road leading home, to see the greater picture. Perhaps, then, an everlasting comfort will begin to awaken within them…bringing them a peace, not of this world.
You are sitting, at home, in your favorite chair, listening to music. As the harmonious strains flow through the atmosphere, you look at the room around you and realize how much you like what you've done with this place. The colors are magnificent, the spacing of furniture just right…in fact, the whole place reflects your tastes and creativity. Even the security system you have in place suits your sense of safety. Your home is a sanctuary, where all is well. You are the master of this domain.
You look over to your left, about four feet away from you, where your daughter is sleeping on the couch. You have many children, but this one is sound asleep in the room with you. Gazing at her asleep in her innocence, you realize how much you love her, and all your children. In fact, they fulfill you. You know there is nothing good that you'd withhold from any of them, if in your hands to give it. This very home you've provided is as much for them as for yourself. Your domain is nothing without those you love to share it with.
As you watch her sleep, you also realize that she has no sense of your presence with her. No, in sleep, her conscious awareness has been considerably shut down. You are awake and able to see her clearly. She is asleep, perceiving almost nothing of reality. She can't perceive you, detect the room she safely sleeps in, nor can she even detect her real body, asleep on the couch. Instead, her reality is bounded by the confines of her sleep-state. Her consciousness is distorted by sleep. It will roam down many avenues of belief; she will pass through many dreams—but she'll have no memory of her true circumstances, her true selfhood, environment, nor her protection under your presence, until she fully awakens. Then the memory will return, and she'll come again to herself.
Leaning back in your comfortable chair, you close your eyes and go back to the music. Suddenly, you hear a discordant sound coming from the couch. You look over and see your daughter tossing and turning in sleep. She begins to moan, showing obvious signs of distress. You realize that something has arisen in her sleep-state that threatens her. You wish you could enter the dream and slay whatever is threatening her; but you know this is impossible. There's nothing real there to slay. She only believes she is in danger somewhere; but the danger is from her own wandering thoughts…her own beliefs of evil things. For in her sleep, forgetful of reality, she may believe good and evil powers reside in just about everything.
Unbeknownst to you, your daughter is actually dreaming she's in a forest being chased by a big bear. As the monster draws nearer, her fear mounts, and she thinks, frantically, "Where is my mother and father? Why aren't they here to protect me? Why am I alone? How can they say they love me, when they're not even here to protect me when I need it?" Then, the bear rips his claws across her shoulder, and the blood streams down her arms. She screams out in her sleep.
Now, you've had enough. You don't want her to suffer, even in sleep. Even though the suffering isn't real, it is to her consciousness. Her consciousness SEES the threat; her consciousness FEELS the body and its pain. There is no doubt to her that her experience is a real one, because all her active senses, at this moment, tell her it is…yet these senses perceive nothing of her true circumstances, safe in your loving care.
You get out of your chair and go to her. You know that you don't have to awaken her fully to handle the threat, whatever it is. You have only to bring a touch of reality back to her sleeping consciousness…that will handle the threat. So you move to her side and nudge her gently, saying, "Honey, try to hear me. I'm here. You're all right. Trust me…nothing can hurt you. Have faith in my presence and what I'm saying. Try to hear what I'm saying. Turn in the direction of my voice. Believe in my power and not the power of whatever threatens you. Let it go…whatever the bad thing is, let it go. My love and protection is greater. Look at me. Try to open your eyes a moment and look at me…hear me."
The girl, running from the bear, hears a voice that is turning her thoughts away from the forest, away from the danger. It comforts her, but she can't hear what it's saying, exactly. She senses that help is near, but she can't see the help. She just believes it's there…has faith in this unseen safety. On the couch, she turns and, for just a split second, opens her eyes and sees you. It registers, 'Oh…I'm all right…I'm home'…and she turns over and goes back to sleep. But the danger is passing, or will pass if her consciousness goes back to the same place in her sleep. Her brief encounter with reality has added a new dimension to her thoughts, and she'll now arrange her dream accordingly. Her own consciousness, now more in touch with reality, will heal the dream and make her safety from the bear appear in some way.
Back in your chair, you realize that, soon, when she tires of sleeping, she'll awaken all by herself, from within. When she does, she'll realize that this dream (and any other dreams she's had) were unreal. Her body, her mind, her entire being were safe and sound in her Parent's house, all along. Even if the threat had killed her in the dream, she wouldn't actually be dead. Her real, spiritual body would be whole and untouched, although those still in the dream would lose awareness of her. Even if her long dream had been a good one, none of the good was real either…it was a temporary thing. Only the good of reality—the good of her parents' realm—is real and enduring.
* * *
This scenario presents our collective or shared material sense of existence to be the dream-state of consciousness that has given us a distorted view of reality. Now try to see God, our infinite, loving, divine Parent as the Father/Mother in the chair, watching you (and each of us) as the sleeping child, whose true perception is shut down. Those of us "here" all share the same dream…the collective state of consciousness that doesn't, in a materialistic sleep, perceive our spiritual, ever-present domain and divine, everlasting circumstances. We believe that we've been separated from Spirit and deposited in a physical body and material universe, punished for a sin we've forgotten, or a Source that no longer wants us.
We ask, daily, why a loving God, our Father/Mother, lets bad things happen to everyone. We think the original sin of having the "knowledge" of good and evil is a myth of the past, when we commit it daily, in our false sense of reality, by believing in good and evil material powers over us. God, Spirit, is the only Source, Creator and Power. A belief otherwise, will plunge us straight into the materialistic dreamland where Spirit seems absent, and we've been left at the mercy of this often unfriendly place.
Why is this true? How can we, individually or collectively, create a lesser reality such as this universe of material form that, like a costume at a masquerade party, hides the truth beneath its surface? Because we are the children of Creative Mind, God; and what we believe, what we hold in thought to be reality, we have the creative power to image into form. The form never becomes the true substance of anything. But our worst nightmares can take form, just as our holiest convictions can take form.
Yet, this place and the forms we collectively manifest have no substance in spiritual reality. The externalized world of form, like the forest and the carnivorous bear, exists only to our faulty perception of the creation that's really here, where the substance of all things is spiritual, whole and eternally good. God's bears don't attack people; like God's lions, they lie down with the lamb. And in God's true, spiritual forests, even ivy isn't poison. It's false, distorted belief that claims to take something from God's spiritually perfect creation and recreate it into finite form…then "gives" to it poisonous (evil) characteristics. Then we fear this poison and seem harmed from it. Like children gazing at a lovely, flowery meadow through a dark and dirty window, we see through the lens of our own faulty awareness, distorting the beauty of the meadow scene. Yet, the true scene is still there, all the time—invisible to our faulty material senses, but seen in our inner, spiritual perception.
Knowing that the material view of creation is our view of creation, our dreamlike, distorted perception…rather than God's true, spiritual creation which is invisibly present...opens the door to usher in spiritual healing. Good and evil powers exist in our make-believe universe because we've all put them there by accepting a reality of good and evil powers, which doesn't really exist. Our universal, collective beliefs have put these seeming evil powers there, in our sleep-state…and we've all agreed to them.
Individuals, correcting these material lies in their own consciousness, can "take out" the monsters of our collective creating, with the truth of spiritual reality of God's divine government and only power. Realization of the truth of spiritual being and circumstances "heals" the outer world of form. It does so because the world of form is always thought externalized or materialized to begin with. It is not the true substance of anything or anyone. Since thought is externalized, how important to know the truth of spiritual wholeness and harmony, so that we produce in form only that which will do no harm.
It is good to remember that spiritual evil doesn't exist. And while these devils and discords, called hate, fear, disease, aging, poverty, death, may enter the dream of material existence, they can't enter the divine, spiritual reality…the home of God. God's spiritual creation is all there is, and no destruction exists here. In the true, spiritual creation that is ever-present, God's power is the only power because there's nothing to contend with it. Health, wholeness, abundance, and eternal life are all spiritual facts that exist despite our collective beliefs otherwise. It's only the false sense of anyone that dies, not the real individual. In other words, we don't die out of mortality; only our belief in mortality dies. The Bible ( I Cor. 15:53; King James Version) states, "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." Put it on…not die into it.
When we fully awaken spiritually, we'll remember this. But for now, under the spell of this false state of existence, we need the realization of own real body and mind, spiritually whole and eternal, in order to heal the ills of the flesh that we see and feel so convincingly. If we learn to become still…quiet our own thinking, and listen for that voice within that's trying to get through, we'll sense our safety even in our Adam-sleep. This soothing voice within will turn our consciousness away from the dream, the threat, and back to the reality of our ever-present health, safety and security under the divine presence and government…and healing of the dream will occur, wherever and however that healing is needed. Until we fully awaken spiritually, the healings that occur are not only good…they can seem miraculous.