9 Open Heaven I
Call to Worship:
"The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them."Matthew 13:15-17:
"For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
Today's sermon is the first in another two-parter inspired by, not the concept of, but the expression "Open Heaven". The term "Open Heaven" is packed with implications which deserve a thorough discussion if we are to be perfectly clear in our statements about Heaven on Earth. We at the Basin Bible Church have long found ourselves in agreement about the reality of Heaven on Earth, and have contemplated the entry through those sublime gates many times. We have agreed that entry into the Kingdom of God is a choice we make once and for all, and yet again and again in every moment of our mundane lives. We have chosen well. We have SEEN the light.
Today we will look at the negative side for awhile--(the "Closed Heaven, so to speak) and we will examine the various kinds of blindness that hide the light from the uncommitted seeker; again, for clarity's sake, this is a necessary evil. Next week (whew) we will cherish stories of those who have turned to the light and been saved.
The following is taken from the The M+G+R Foundation website, and has some interesting reflections on the ability to SEE spirtual realities:
Eyes to See and Ears to Hear--Who Are Those Who Possess Them?
"If you don't see all yet, do not be terribly concerned. "Seeing" is process that develops at a rate determined by God, a rate quite unique for each soul already marked from all Eternity to be counted amongst those who will Have Eyes to See and Ears to Hear
Our Lord Jesus Christ clearly used the "Eyes to See and Ears to Hear" terminology frequently and we will quote such Gospel passages in the DETAILS section of this document. First, however, we wish to give additional dimension to such terminology so that Our Lord's Words may be better assimilated.
When Divine Illumination is granted to mankind it will be received as follows:(a) Clearly seen by those who truly belong to God (even though they may not be aware of it yet) and who God deems ready to understand it and spiritually profit from it.
(b) Not clearly seen by those whom God does not deem quite ready yet to assimilate such Illumination. In time, these individuals, which belong to two categories, will see the Light.(i) Category No. 1 will see the Light eventually under the normal process of conversion;
(ii) Category No. 2 will see the Light only when God allows (1) Enough pain to be brought upon them so that they finally "snap into attention", so to speak.
(c) Not seen - now or ever - by those who do not belong to God - and never will.
Following is what Our Lord Jesus Christ stated, through the Holy Gospels, about this subject matter:
Matthew 13:11-13:"He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."
Luke 8:9-10:"And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand."
Mark 4:11-12:"And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all
these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them."
John 16:12-14:"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. How be it when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
Therefore - who does See and/or Hear and its timing is not for miguel de Portugal - or no one! - to determine. That is the sole provenance of God and we must be most careful in revealing such information "lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them." and we would then be answerable to God for such transgression."
The scriptures and commentaries above reprise one of our main points of some months ago, that the Word of God is not for every one AT THIS PRECISE MOMENT; back then we saw how Jesus Himself spoke in parables, so that the Word would be allowed to percolate SLOWLY through the being of the seeker, allowing him to grasp the Truth in fullness over time, thereby denying Satan a foothold in consciousness for the purpose of misdirection. From this, it follows that entry into the Kingdom of God may not be for everyone AT THIS PRECISE MOMENT. There is a strong implication here that predestination plays a part in the soul's salvation; there is an even stronger implication that salvation will come to all IN TIME. The ultimate outcome of this question is CHOICE. The choice is always there, but not everyone can see it JUST YET.
There are many stories in literature and myth about people who did not, or could not, choose to enter into the Kingdom; these are sad sad stories, but they do, like the Aristotelian tragedy, offer us catharsis and enlightenment, as do all symbolic realities, whether they represent positive or negative truths.
If Heaven on Earth is freely available, why would anyone choose NOT to enter in? There are as many answers to this question as there individuals in the universe. The Good News of Jesus Christ is that all may see the gates of Heaven if they will but open their eyes; but to many Jesus stands as much in the way of this vision as He reveals it, because the verbal language of religion obscures the super-verbal language of spirit. BELIEF can be the fatal flaw that comes between our THINKING about spiritual reality and EXPERIENCING spiritual reality. We say we must believe, but belief and faith are subtly different conceptual orientations: faith means surrender to the undefined borders of the Cloud of Unknowing, whereas belief tends to have a verbal component that can become entangled with our perceptions and cause us to hallucinate our thoughts rather than FEEL, clairvoyantly, what is beyond thought.
Many people suffer personal misfortunes which seriously, nay fatally, cripple their ability to turn toward the light. The dwarves in C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle are an example of this which I have referred to before. The following article by Martin LaBar comments on the Dwarf scene, and then goes on to mention a scene in George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin:
The Dwarves of The Last Battle and Unbelief in The Princess and the Goblin
Posted by Martin LaBar
"In The Last Battle, by C. S. Lewis, some dwarves have an interesting role. They refuse to believe in a false Aslan, and also refuse to believe in a real one. When the Calormenes throw them into a dark stable, they refuse to see anything but what you would expect to find in such a building, even though other characters in the book can see that the stable, in reality, is not dark, and has no walls -- just a door.
Lucy Pevensie, who has a soft heart, tries to get the Lion, Aslan, to make things better for the dwarves, Aslan produces a banquet for them. They eat, but they think they are eating old cattle food, or drinking from a trough for animals. When a dwarf is picked up and carried toward the outside, he experiences being slammed into the wall, even though there is no wall. Aslan says that they have chosen not to believe, and there is nothing he can do for them.
I have found, not surprisingly, since Lewis is known to have been influenced a great deal by the writing of George MacDonald, that there are similar ideas in MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin. That book was originally published in 1872. The following excerpt is taken from Chapter Eleven; Irene is an eight-year-old princess. The other speaker is her father's mother's father's mother, who lives in a nice suite of rooms on the top floor of the house where Irene lives, and has some marvelous powers. Irene is the only person who knows that she is there. Lootie is Irene's nurse."But you would have found me sooner if you hadn't come to think I was a dream. I will give you one reason though why you couldn't find me. I didn't want you to find me.'
'Because I did not want Lootie to know I was here.'
'But you told me to tell Lootie.'
'Yes. But I knew Lootie would not believe you. If she were to see me sitting spinning here, she wouldn't believe me, either.'
'Because she couldn't. She would rub her eyes, and go away and say she felt queer, and forget half of it and more, and then say it had been all a dream.'
'Just like me,' said Irene, feeling very much ashamed of herself.
'Yes, a good deal like you, but not just like you; for you've come again; and Lootie wouldn't have come again. She would have said, No, no - she had had enough of such nonsense.'
'Is it naughty of Lootie, then?'
'It would be naughty of you. I've never done anything for Lootie.'
' . . . Besides, again - I will tell you a secret - if that light were to go out you would fancy yourself lying in a bare garret, on a heap of old straw, and would not see one of the pleasant things round about you all the time.'
How much that God sees is real do I not see, or do I see as trash, because I don't believe in Him?"
Notice that the inability of Lootie, and the dwarves, to see the lovely reality spread out before them, comes from a cognitive predisposition toward fixity; their verbal frame of reference does not include the possibility of higher reality, so they refuse to see one. Thus, as mentioned above, a fixed thought form can not only cause us to hallucinate something that is NOT there, it can also cause us to NOT see something that IS there.
As we have mentioned many times, one of the secrets to spiritual sensitivity is the ability to modulate from one vibrational frequency to another, to transition fluidly from one dimension of reality to another along a continuum of infinite dimensions. This fluidity is a function of freedom of the will, made possible by the abandonment of strict verbal definitions. In the beginning was the Word, but the Word was not a typewritten telegram on cardboard, it was a firy, dynamic expression of being, absolute in its infinity and in no other sense. The true Word defies definition because if defies limitation. The Word is an invitation to infinite freedom. If the dwarves could have put that in their pipes and smoked it, they would be playing with us, right now, on clouds of infinite bliss. Instead, they are stuck clinging to their cold, fixed ego resolutions, stale bread and stone.
I am reminded of the myth of Psyche. For those who might not know the details of the story, here is a brief summary found online:
"The story of Cupid and Psyche first occurs in one of the few surviving Latin novels, the Metamorphoses (sometimes called The Golden Ass) of Lucius
Apuleius Platonicus, who was born about 125 A.D. The relevant parts are as follows:
A king and queen had three daughters of whom the youngest was so beautiful that men worshipped her as a goddess and neglected the worship of Venus for her sake. One result was that Psyche (as the youngest was called) had no suitors; men reverenced her supposed deity too much to aspire to her hand. When her father consulted the oracle of Apollo about her marriage he received the answer: "Hope for no human son-in-law. You must expose Psyche on a mountain to be the prey of a dragon." This he obediently did.
But Venus, jealous of Psyche's beauty, had already devised a different punishment for her; she had ordered her son Cupid to afflict the girl with an irresistible passion for the basest of men. Cupid set off to do so but, on seeing Psyche, fell in love with
her himself. As soon as she was left on the mountain he therefore had her carried off by the West-Wind (Zephyrus) to a secret place where he had prepared a stately palace. Here he visited her by night and enjoyed her love; but he forbade her to see
his face. Presently she begged that she might receive a visit from her two sisters. The god reluctantly consented and wafted them to her palace. Here they were royally feasted and expressed great delight at all the splendours they saw. But inwardly they were devoured with envy, for their husbands were not gods and their houses not so fine as hers.
They therefore plotted to destroy her happiness. At their next visit they persuaded her that her mysterious husband must really be a monstrous serpent. "You must take into your bedroom to-night," they said, "a lamp covered with a cloak and a sharp knife. When he sleeps uncover the lamp - see the horror that is lying in your bed -and stab it to death."
All this the gullible Psyche promised to do.
When she uncovered the lamp and saw the sleeping god she gazed on him with insatiable love, till a drop of hot oil from her lamp fell on his shoulder and woke him. Starting up, he spread his shining wings, rebuked her, and vanished from her sight."
The myth goes on: Psyche eventually regains her lost Paradise after performing a series of tasks. With divine aid, she completes her rite of passage and rejoins her beloved Cupid as a goddess.
My favorite C. S. Lewis book is Till We Have Faces, which is a retelling of the Trials of Psyche myth. It is a beautiful book, and I would love to dwell on it some more at a later date; but for our present purposes we must focus on merely two aspects of the tale, one from the original and one from C. S. Lewis' retelling:
1.) In both the original and the Lewis version, Cupid is invisible to Psyche; and in both versions it is the sister(s) whose doubt compromises Psyche's belief in her unseen lover and forces her to betray a sacred trust. In both versions Psyche begins as a devoted unquestioning lover, and then, through the twisted words of the Accuser, comes to doubt, repeats the disobedient act of Eve, and brings original sin down upon her own head. The operative concept here is that Cupid is INVISIBLE to Psyche, but was at first believed in through faith, and then doubted through reason.
2.) In the original, the two sisters plot against Psyche because they are jealous of her magficent castle, and of her beautiful lover; they see, very well, her great halls, and taste her lovely wine, but they wish to steal it from her out of envy. In Till We Have Faces, the one loving sister, Orual, cannot see at all the great castle, the flowing garments, nor the golden goblets--to her it appears that Psyche has gone mad on the mountain, unprotected and been made vulnerable to destruction by an unspeakable monster. Orual uses Psyche's love for her sister as blackmail--she gets Psyche to agree to the betrayal by threatening her own suicide.
Clearly, as we have discussed in our sermons on Satan, Orual is guilty of a love that has become perverted by narcissism. But there is more: Orual is blind to the truth, just as the dwarves are blind to the truth. She performs what she considers to be a virtuous, loving act, but the virtue is a false virtue because it is based on an act that denies the higher reality of the situation. Once again, rigid verbal definition has betrayed higher spiritual sensitivity, and made her blind.
Notice how the term "narcissism" has crept into the discussion. Clearly there must be a link between strict verbal definitions and self-involved love. Perhaps, since the words come from our brains, our consciousness confuses the sense of self promoted by language with the clairvoyant sense of spiritual self, or higher self. If so, this would be yet another warning against developing a too-literal or too-fixed catechism. Just as Narcissus fell in love with an IMAGE of himself, so too can we fall in love with the images generated in the mind by language, mistaking the form for the essence. What a razor's edge it is, because we know that Divine Truth is transmitted to us through the imprinting of pictures on our astral bodies by the angels. Telling apart the mundane from the divinely generated pictures requires the most acute sensitivity, and many of us fail to develop this sensitivity before it is too late.
Another great allegory of spiritual blindness is Lewis' The Great Divorce. The setting for this book is a frontier where a number of passengers have been let out of a bus. They are then free to travel whichever way they will. Again, some have eyes to see the great Heavenly vistas stretching before them, and some see nothing but what their negativity has predisposed them to see:
The Great Divorce
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The Great Divorce is a work of theological fantasy by C. S. Lewis, in which he reflects on the Christian conception of Heaven and Hell. The working title was Who Goes Home? but the final name was changed at the publisher's insistence. The title refers to William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. The Great Divorce was first printed as a serial in an Anglican newspaper called The Guardian in 1944 and 1945, and soon thereafter in book form.
The narrator inexplicably finds himself in a grim and joyless city, the "grey town", which is either hell or purgatory depending on how long one stays there. He eventually finds a bus for those who desire an excursion to some other place (and which eventually turns out to be the foothills of heaven). He enters the bus and converses with his fellow passengers as they travel. When the bus reaches its destination, the passengers on the bus — including the narrator — are gradually revealed to be ghosts. Although the country is the most beautiful they have ever seen, every feature of the landscape (including streams of water and blades of grass) is unyieldingly solid compared to themselves: it causes them immense pain to walk on the grass, and even a single leaf is far too heavy for any to lift.
Shining figures, men and women whom they have known on earth, come to meet them, and to urge them to repent and enter heaven proper. They promise that as the ghosts travel onward and upward, they will become more solid and thus feel less and less discomfort. These figures, called "spirits" to distinguish them from the ghosts, offer to assist them in the journey toward the mountains and the sunrise.
Almost all of the ghosts choose to return instead to the grey town, giving various reasons and excuses. Much of the interest of the book lies in the recognition it awakens of the plausibility and familiarity, along with the thinness and self-deception, of the excuses that the ghosts refuse to abandon, even though to do so would bring them to "reality" and "joy forevermore."
The narrator is met by the writer George MacDonald, whom he hails as his mentor, just as Dante did when encountering Virgil in the Divine Comedy; and MacDonald becomes the narrator's guide in his journey, just as Virgil became Dante's. MacDonald explains that it is possible for a soul to choose to remain in heaven despite having been in the grey town; for such souls, the goodness of heaven will work backwards into their lives, turning even their worst sorrows into joy, and changing their experience on earth to an extension of heaven. Conversely, the evil of hell works so that if a soul remains in, or returns to, the grey town, even its happiness on earth will lose its meaning, and its experience on earth would have been hell. Few of the ghosts realize that the grey town is, in fact, hell. Indeed it is not that much different from the life they led on earth: joyless, friendless, and uncomfortable. It just goes on forever, and gets worse and worse, with some characters whispering their fear of the "night" that is eventually to come.
According to MacDonald, while it is possible to leave hell and enter heaven, doing so implies turning away (repentance); or as depicted by Lewis, embracing ultimate and unceasing joy itself."
“Son,'he said,' ye cannot in your present state understand eternity...That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, "No future bliss can make up for it," not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory."
[Sidebar: You will recall that I stated above:
"Many people suffer personal misfortunes which seriously, nay fatally, cripple their ability to turn toward the light."
Such misfortunes are a part of life, and some people get over them and some don't. Self-pity is an insidious consequence of suffering. To C. S. Lewis, as well as many, many others, the misfortunes of life are merely the tests which it is our purpose in life to endure and overcome. Self-pity removes the point of all our suffering, reducing it to meaningless noise; self-pity commits the sinner to a permanent state of stasis, thus depriving the soul of the opportunity of self-healing. Again, if the sinner could translate himself from one dimension to another, he would see how transitory and temporary are our human sufferings--but so many weak souls combine fragility with stubbornness, and cling to their suffering, for which they feel so ill-used; it is almost comical that an ever-so-slight change of attitude could relieve them both of the excuse, AND the suffering.
Back to The Great Divorce:]
"And of some sinful pleasure they say "Let me have but this and I'll take the consequences": little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man's past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man's past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why...the Blessed will say "We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven, : and the Lost, "We were always in Hell." And both will speak truly.”
[Sidebar: You can see how predestination plays into this. Some weeks ago we talked about whether original sin came into being in the 1st or the 2nd moment of creation; we questioned whether free will and sin were the same thing. We also talked about Jesus as the judge on the last day, and suggested that, by the time we have arrived at that fatal moment, long before we stand before Jesus, the judgment will have been delivered on us by ourselves.
Back to The Great Divorce:]
“Hell is a state of mind - ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind - is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.”
[Sidebar: The following section is linked to the idea that Satan's arguments appeal to the mind without ever touching the heart.]
“Friend, I am not suggesting at all. You see, I know now. Let us be frank. Our opinions were not honestly come by. We simply found ourselves in contact with a certain current of ideas and plunged into it because it seemed modern and successful. At College, you know, we just started automatically writing the kind of essays that got good marks and saying the kind of things that won applause. When, in our whole lives, did we honestly face, in solitude, the one question on which all turned: whether after all the Supernatural might not in fact occur? When did we put up one moment's real resistance to the loss of our faith?”
“If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.”
“Good beats upon the damned incessantly as sound waves beat on the ears of the deaf, but they cannot receive it. Their fists are clenched, their teeth are clenched, their eyes fast shut. First they will not, in the end they cannot, open their hands for gifts, or their mouth for food, or their eyes to see.”
“Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?”
To return to our thesis sentence, the inspiration for this message was the expression "Open Heaven". I have just given several examples of an "Open Heaven" that is sometimes closed to the sinner because it is invisible to him. The following is a famous section from from The Trial, by Franz Kafka. It draws a connection between the will to enter into joy and the force of evil thought that forbids that entry. It also shows how the sinner may come to understand his plight at the exact moment that it is too late:
"BEFORE THE LAW stands a doorkeeper. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country and prays for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot grant admittance at the moment. The man thinks it over and then asks if he will be allowed in later. "It is possible," says the doorkeeper, "but not at the moment." Since the gate stands open, as usual, and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man stoops to peer through the gateway into the interior. Observing that, the doorkeeper laughs and says: "If you are so drawn to it, 'just try to go in despite my veto. But take note: I am powerful. And I am only the least of the doorkeepers. From hall to hall there is one doorkeeper after another, each more powerful than the last. The third doorkeeper is already so terrible that even I cannot bear to look at him." These are difficulties the man from the country has not expected; the Law, he thinks, should surely be accessible at all times and to everyone, but as he now takes a closer look at the doorkeeper in his fur coat, with his big sharp nose and long, thin, black Tartar beard, he decides that it is better to wait until he gets permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at one side of the door. There he sits for days and years. He makes many attempts to be admitted, and wearies the doorkeeper by his importunity. The doorkeeper frequently has little interviews with him, asking him questions about his home and many other things, but the questions are put indifferently, as great lords put them, and always finish with the statement that he cannot be let in yet. The man, who has furnished himself with many things for his journey, sacrifices all he has, however valuable, to bribe the doorkeeper. The doorkeeper accepts everything, but always with the remark: "I am only taking it to keep you from thinking you have omitted anything." During these many years the man fixes his attention almost continuously on the doorkeeper. He forgets the other doorkeepers, and this first one seems to him the sole obstacle preventing access to the Law. He curses his bad luck, in his early years boldly and loudly; later, as he grows old, he only grumbles to himself. He becomes childish, and since in his yearlong contemplation of the doorkeeper he has come to know even the fleas in his fur collar, he begs the fleas as well to help him and to change the doorkeeper's mind. At length his eyesight begins to fail, and he does not know whether the world is really darker or whether his eyes are only deceiving him. Yet in his darkness he is now aware of a radiance that streams inextinguishably from the gateway of the Law. Now he has not very long to live. Before he dies, all his experiences in these long years gather themselves in his head to one point, a question he has not yet asked the doorkeeper. He waves him nearer, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend low toward him, for the difference in height between them has altered much to the man's disadvantage. "What do you want to know now?" asks the doorkeeper; "you are insatiable." "Everyone strives to reach the Law," says the man, "so how does it happen that for all these many years no one but myself has ever begged for admittance?" The doorkeeper recognizes that the man has reached his end, and, to let his failing senses catch the words, roars in his ear: "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."
[Sidebar: This is a chilling heartbreaking story, but it represents a fundamental spiritual truth: the man from the country might have had access to the law at any time if he had only truly stood up the doorkeeper. Indeed, the doorkeeper and himself are one, and it is ultimately HE HIMSELF who forbids his entry. He is convicted by false fears about false futures. He allows himself to crumble before a barrier that might have proven to be no more substantial than a house of cards, if he had only exerted his will power. The appearance of power is one of Satan's chief weapons, and if we fall for his magic show we can lose everything. If we choose to see with spiritual eyes, Satan's might becomes a puny, insubstantial force, his firy dragons become lightning bugs. This is how thin the line is between damnation and salvation.]
Here are some more Kafka quotes taken from various sources. You will note how many of them revolve around protagonists who have, by their own self-denial, become powerless before a cruel arbitrary fate--others find reason behind the madness:
From On Parables:"Concerning this a man once said: Why such reluctance? If you only followed the parables you yourselves would become parables and with that rid of all your daily cares.
–Another said: I bet that is also a parable.
–The first said: You have won.
–The second said: But unfortunately only in parable.
–The first said: No, in reality: in parable you have lost."
From –The Trial:“The Court wants nothing from you. It receives you when you come and it dismisses you when you go.”
–December 4, 1913:"To die would mean nothing else than to surrender a nothing to the nothing, but that would be impossible to conceive, for how could a person, even only as a nothing, consciously surrender himself to the nothing, and not merely to an empty nothing but rather to a roaring nothing whose nothingness consists only in its incomprehensibility."
–October 18, 1921"It is entirely conceivable that life’s splendor forever lies in wait about each of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off."
–#62"The fact that there is nothing but a spiritual world deprives us of hope and gives us certainty.""The Messiah will come only when he is no longer necessary; he will come only on the day after his arrival; he will come, not on the last day, but on the very last."
From – Senses:"You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet."
From Reflections on Sin, Pain, Hope and the True Way, 1917-1920:"Only our concept of time makes it possible for us to speak of the Day of Judgment by that name; in reality it is a summary court in perpetual session."
In conclusion, let me just underline this message we first encountered in Steiner's Signs and Symbols of the Christmas Festival, I, The Birth of the Light, Berlin, December 19, 1904:
"Christianity stands as the external mystical fact for the birth of the light. Christ brought to the earth what had existed from the beginning, although it was hidden from mankind throughout the ages we have been speaking of. Now, however, a new climax was reached. Even as the light is born anew at the winter solstice, so . . . the Savior of Mankind, the Christ, was born. He is the new Sun Hero who was not only initiated in the depths of the Mystery temples, but who also appeared before all the world so that it could be said, “Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). When it was recognized that the Divine could descend into a personality, the festival celebrating the birth of the Sun Hero, the Christ, came to replace the festival celebrating the birth of the light."And, finally, this other concept, also taken from Steiner:
"At the end of the lectures on the Bhagavad Gita Steiner proclaims the singlemost important revolutionary contribution Jesus made to the evolution of Humankind: that the Christ Consciousness is available to EVERYONE. Steiner makes the distinction between the Hindu principle that physical reality is maya, illusion, and is therefore to be transcended through renunciation, and the completely new affirmation of spirit IN THE FLESH that was the primary thrust of Jesus’ entire career. Though His incarnation and sacrifice, His blood shed onto the face of Mother Earth, Jesus ushered in a completely new epoch, an epoch of Heaven on Earth."Indeed, I fail, daily, to remember where I am and who I am; but more and more, when I face adversities of whatever trivial sort, I can look past the dross and into the face of God Who radiates love and serenity behind every veil of maya. I know that Heaven is here, and I am getting better at going there all the time.
Let us pray: Jesus
Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,