Heart Laws

When Jesus said, “I AM THE WAY…I AM THE TRUTH…I AM THE LIFE–” He was not speaking metaphorically–he was pronouncing a profound, incredible fact. Perhaps one way to understand what Jesus meant is to begin by imagining a great sculptor at work. Within the sculptor’s eye is a beautiful figure he wishes to reproduce. First he carefully selects the perfect stone that potentially contains the perfect figure. Then he begins.

Each stroke of the chisel and hammer shears away solid stone. Each masterful blow is telling, each surely delivered stroke is true. The master makes no mistakes, and takes no shortcuts. After a while the beautiful figure that existed only in the sculptor’s mind, now stands perfectly reproduced in the master’s studio.

Likewise, Jesus was a master of confident living–of right moral relationship and conduct. His acts of kindness and generosity, His demonstrations of how humans should act in the face of confusion and conflict, were his masterpiece. The Bible says, “He was not like the other teachers of the Law; he taught with authority.” (Matthew 7:29).

We are apprentices of this Great Teacher, but what He exhorted us to do, we do only imperfectly. But once we have finished committing our mistakes, we do not continue to suffer from them. We are forgiven, and begin to perform beautifully. Jesus said, “No pupil is greater than his teacher; but every pupil, when he has completed his training, will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40).

The rules and laws of any art exist outside of us (like a set of books) until we practice the art. Then slowly, after much work, much practice, many trials and failures, the art becomes part of us. We become incapable of breaking the rules and laws of the art because we know through our own painful experience that only by following the rules will we produce beauty. Breaking them produces rubble. Thereby, they become rules of the heart.

That is why Jesus pronounced: I AM THE TRUTH. The difference being that Jesus was not attempting to learn the Law. He was the Law. (Why He was perfect, why He made no mistakes.) And the equally profound pronouncement: I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE further proclaiming that the Law came fro God the Father–and Jesus was at the same time proclaiming and performing the Law. And even more astonishingly: GO AND DO LIKEWISE. And thus become sons of the Father.

It is these heart laws we have come here to learn. How can people ask, What is the purpose of life? Jesus repeated over and over that becoming rich or powerful or famous was not the meaning of life, that such attainments were meaningless in Heaven.

What are the signs we are learning our apprentice lessons of heart laws? Perhaps it is conscience–the small voice inside that whispers, that won’t leave us alone–when we know we have done wrong–when we have broken a heart law. Then we know the Law has entered our heart. That conscience relentlessly upbraids us until we seek peace and compensation with the ones we have wronged. By a strong conscience you will know that the Law is no longer merely words in a book of laws–but the Law has entered your heart.       Phil

The Eagle’s Room

There is an old story about a baby eagle raised by chickens. The eagle didn’t look like a chicken, didn’t peck or scratch the ground like a chicken, and so was ignored by the chickens, and sometimes even attacked. Then one day the eagle spread its growing wings, jumped from the ground and soared into the sky. The eagle didn’t have a mirror, so he didn’t know he was an eagle until he flew.

So we sometimes wonder–Am I an eagle, or a chicken?

Many of us peck the ground and hope for the best. We hope our good thoughts have wings. We hope our dreams will fly. We pray for good things and hope they will come true. But in this world, often we see our results aren’t as good as our dreams.

But what if this seeming failure of results isn’t quite true? What if there is a mirror we are not looking at? Let’s say a mirror world in which all of our heartfelt dreams come true–a mirror world we are not often allowed to see? (Hint: Thoughts held in mind, create in kind.)

Let’s give this mirror world a subtitle: The Apprentice Creator’s Practice Work Room. Or simply, The Eagle’s Room. It’s a strange, dusty little room with all kinds of weird, half-finished, half-baked creations–and only you can go there, though you seldom do. All of your childhood dreams are there. You dreamed feverishly of being a great artist, or being a gifted player of games, or someone whose thoughts could bring peace and healing to the world.

All the hopes, all the dreams,, all your prayers came true in this Room. You never ever failed to create what you perceived and believed, as richly or as poorly as you could conceive. Your slightest thoughts created worlds. In God’s wisdom, this Room is a safe room for practice creation. Sometimes you have been angry and envisioned destruction. The destruction took place in that Room.

God the great creator who never fails created you in God’s own image–so how could you ever fail to create what you have imagined?

The truth is you have never failed. But, like the eagle, nobody ever told you that you were the perfect creating being, born to fly, born to create. But the chickens have told you to keep on pecking the dirt. So you doubted you could fly, doubted you could create great things, doubted your dreams and prayers could help the world. Since your creative mind works perfectly and always has, you created chicklets instead of eagles.

Half-baked, half-created things, some of these chickens are running around in your life right now. The most important truth is that you are very powerful. You can create anything through deep belief and deep passion. Wonderful, positive works can be created. Also negative, destructive works. Many of the so-called great figures of history simply used their great creative powers for passionately envisioned conquests.

That is why the first study of the mystic is learning self-control of thoughts and passions. Why? Because thoughts and passions–conceived and held passionately–create realities in this world. And the mystic wishes to create peace and harmony in the world.

So what are you thinking? What are you feeling? Many of your dreams aren’t baked hot enough to appear anywhere but in your Room (where you never fail to create). But what you truly, passionately believe you are creating today. Right now. You are an eagle. You are a perfectly created passionate being of a passionate Creator. Your passionate thoughts are the future of this world. Didn’t anyone tell you?       Phil

Calm the Storm

Somewhere in the future of humankind the weather forecaster warns the people of a great hurricane coming from the sea. But instead of telling them to evacuate and run for their lives, the forecaster urges them to hurry to their God Center. In the future churches are called the God Center because people have finally realized that God is omnipotent, everywhere at once, the center of every thing, the power of every thing.

Hundreds of thousands of people hurry to the many nearby temples. Others remain at home and sit in a room they have dedicated to prayer and peace. But it is not like the old days. These people are unafraid and full of faith. The great multitudes of humankind calm their minds and hearts–and then they pray.

And the great hurricane dissolves itself at sea. The people rejoice, thanking God for giving humankind a way to calm the storm. And then they go back to their many good works. It is not like the old days. Now people are calm and know prayer is powerful and they have great faith in God who is the God of every thing. The people of faith do not believe prayer works, they know prayer works.

One of the great Masters stood up and commanded the wind, “Be quiet!” and he said to the waves, “Be still!” The wind died down, and there was a great calm. Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you so frightened? Do you still have no faith?” But they were terribly afraid and began to say to one another, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

When you calm the storm of fear in your heart, at that time your prayer becomes full of power. May God teach all of us how to pray!       Phil

What Must Love Do?

Two brothers grew up in a tough neighborhood. They had to learn fast–run fast or lose your shoes, hat or coat to the bullies. One of the boys became a bully and drank heavily to escape his anger and bitterness and didn’t live a happy life. The other boy worked hard and became a school teacher and loving father. Why did they turn out so differently?

One of the famous Greek philosophers, Diogenes, had a shameful beginning. He and his father were caught counterfeiting money. Diogenes was so ashamed he ran away to Athens. Later, after he gained fame for his wisdom, he said, “It was through this I came to be a philosopher.”

When I was a boy I didn’t have many possessions and my best friend had a lot of toys and spare change laying around. I stole a bag of pennies and a puppet–and I got caught. I was so ashamed I never stole anything again. It was through this that I came to respect property. Maybe all of us have some difficult childhood experiences (or many) that tempers our actions for the rest of our lives. Most likely, in the teen or preteen years, we make a decision about life. Life is a terrible struggle and I must fight others to get what I want. Or, I must not fight others, but rather improve myself and get what I want.

A trauma causes us to experience an energy inside we must sooner or later resolve or express. Often the first reaction is the childish desire to strike back, throw toys, knock down the castle. This is one of the most difficult things about being a human. This desire to destroy must be resisted until a more peaceful idea gives an outlet for our powerful energy. (And all of us are full of very powerful energy). Then we must act constructively and creatively to release this energy. This doesn’t meant we may not defend ourselves from bullies or predators. But the motivation must be for renewed peace and tranquility–not revenge.

Motivation is an important word in the human experience. What is your motive? (What puts you into motion?) Did you intend harm, or good? We believe God intends only good, and good alone. God allows us to have wonderful experiences and also hard experiences. Yet God’s intention if for us to learn and profit from every experience, no matter how challenging. What is the lesson? What is the message?

Our so-called enemy has a message for us. Not only that, God’s highest intention is for us to respond with love, fairness and forgiveness in every situation. Only the child of a god could ever achieve such all enduring love.

Thus we praise the enlightened men and women who expressed such love, who we now deem saints or avatars (which means God coming to earth in a body). But we must come to understand we are all children of the same God; that God by what-ever name created all of us capable of expressing this greatest love. God sends enlightened ones to show us this greatest love is possible, not just for rare and exalted mortals, but for all human beings. These supreme achievements of love are painted on the darkest panels of human history. Yet we must have our terrible experiences to achieve this greatest love.

God knows all of this will take much time, in this world or the next. So we must accept our experiences as lessons. That is all they are intended to be. None of it is punishment. Much of it is a consequence of our previous behavior. An enlightened one said, “Forgive your enemies.” Now we understand: Forgive your persecutor quickly, for he is really a messenger, a teacher, though that may not be his intention.

As long as we are angry, we have a lesson to learn. As long as we are feeling frightened, distressed, spiteful, intolerant, unforgiving–we have a lesson to learn. God will keep sending messengers. Until we respond every time in every situation with love, as enlightened beings, God will send us more lessons, more experiences, until we learn to love.

No matter what is happening to you there is only one question to ask: What must love do?       Phil