April 2, 2011

Bondage Or Liberty? This IS The Question! – Part I

“Every man believes himself to be in bondage to the flesh and to the things of the flesh. All suffering is the result of this belief.” - H. Emilie Cady from Lessons In Truth

A Course In Miracles says in many places and in many ways that, at all times, we are either choosing love or choosing fear. In Emilie Cady’s language, we are choosing between bondage and liberty. To me, both statements communicate the exact same core truth.  We will either be liberated by God’s Love, or held prisoner to our own fear. At the foundation of our existence, there is no other choice we are ever really making.

From Emilie Cady’s point of view, we are in bondage to the “flesh and to the things of the flesh.” A Course In Miracles similarly holds this to be true, but equates it to “body identification.” Essentially, both are once again saying the same thing stated slightly differently. This is not to say A Course In Miracles is derivative of Cady’s Lessons In Truth. However, it does reflect that “Truth” (with a capital T) is the same no matter the semantic differences.

For me, I have in the past couple of years of my life paid close attention to and meditated upon the idea Jesus communicated in several ways of being in the world not of the world. To me this has proved an important part of my process and spiritual growth. I now actively practice releasing my attachments to anything in the world. This is not out of any particular issue I have with the world, but rather a statement of purpose to create the habit of relying on God first in all circumstances, rather than what my “flesh” might desire to comfort or gratify it.

Cady truly states that we all are “at first living in the selfish part” of ourselves at earlier points in our life. It is a divine process whereby we “grow up through various stages” until ultimately we come to a place to the “divine or spiritual understanding” that we are and, in truth, have always been “one with the Father.” It is the dawning and acceptance of this awareness that begins to “free [us] from all suffering.”

Everyone ultimately arrives at the place where, of our own free will and liberated choice, we “bow to [our] spiritual Self and confess that this spiritual Self, [our] Christ, is highest and is Lord.” Until that time, we will likely suffer many tribulations before the ultimate deliverance. That moment of deliverance usually arrives in the form of a “seemingly impassable Red Sea where our courage will seem to fail.” When our courage does fail and we become aware that, alone, we do not have the will or the power to overcome our suffering, we “learn to stand alone with [our] God” and become acutely aware that “nothing else avails.” There is no other remedy or solution that will ever make us “masters of [our] own destiny.”

Besides the foundational issue of identifying with the “flesh,” I believe the impediment to accepting our oneness with God is our own self-judgment for having spent so much time being attached to the “flesh and the things of the flesh.” In other words, when we become aware that we have been choosing the “flesh” over God, we feel guilty and ashamed.

Along with the guilt and shame come feelings of unworthiness. The unworthiness creates a sense of us wanting to hide from God, to, in effect, separate ourselves from God. Of course, as we continue to mature we learn to accept that not only can we not separate from God, but that, in Truth, we have never been separate from God, even during all that time we suffered in our attachment to the “flesh.”

To be continued in Part II…

Stay tuned in…

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Souldiver

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