The Seven Keys – Key Two – “The One Life expresses itself through matter in order to experience and master form”

So why would this perfect divine and singular life force enter into form? Material expression is limiting and imperfect, confining and restrictive. The short answer is, “to know itself,” but don’t worry, I will go a bit deeper than that. TS Elliot once said that “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” This is an expression of two factors combining in the creative process. The first is referred to in the esoteric sciences as the “Law of Necessity.” Deity must create. That is it’s nature and it’s purpose. In order to be a painter, one must paint. Interestingly, the converse is also true. It is said that man is made in God’s image and that has been reverse engineered to mean that God looks like a man. This is the “old man in the sky” myth that seemingly overtakes every other concept of Deity. There is no old man in the sky, and I have said many times that if that is our only definition of God, than I am an atheist. There is only the One Life which is “above all, through all and in you all” as we discussed in our last post. The second factor is that the process of creation is how the creator becomes aware of itself. The painter is exploring his own mind and heart through his painting as well. This is also true of the musician, the sculptor, etc.

I have only come to understand these two reasons for the manifested universe. The life force creates form in order to experience, and express. Some add the word experiment but I think that is implied within the first two. We are trying to boil things down to root causes, so I will stay with my first two. It is up to you (as always) to determine  the validity of my position in your own life, mind, and heart. Consciousness cannot be hung in a void. It is the result of the interaction of the initial driving force, known as Spirit or Will, and its material expression. We will explore that concept in more depth when we get to Key Three.

Self exploration is the highest calling to which a creator can aspire because it brings one into closer contact and awareness of the divinity which is our source. The Oracle of Delphi advised man “know thyself, and thou has read the world.” Man is a divine creature and to know one’s self more deeply is to come closer to that divine nature. In all of my studies and meditation, self discipline and introspection, I see a single result. I am now a better version of Doug. There is something that exists which is not my body, but uses it. When we do something that is below our own expectations of our “self” we say, “that’s not me. I am better than that.” Through these spiritual disciplines (or any discipline) we come closer to the perfection that we know ourselves to be. and we feel in line with our true essence. That is a form of integrity, or integration. We come closer on the outside to what we know to be the true self on the inside and there is a harmony and beauty in our lives because of this more true and complete expression of the self. As we master the expression in form through the experience of having form, we are literally “God” becoming aware of itself.

Will this happen without conscious effort? Yes. Just look around you. There are many people, who are equally divine in their essence and nature who are completely unconscious of this fact. They are on the path and do not know it. We are all travelling to the same place and when we arrive, we will know the place for the very first time. The process is merely accelerated when we take our own spiritual development in hand and “aspire” to be something greater than ourselves. This is in fact impossible, because we are already perfect and divine in our essence. What we really do through the experiences of living in form is to come closer to that essence through the mastery of material expression. What are you expressing with your actions in the material world? Is it enhancing your experience?

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The Sculptor – Standing in the Rubble

The will aspect of the trinity (Will, Love, Active intelligence) is the creative impetus for the entire system. It is seen as synthesizing because it is the source, if there is a source, of the other two. Without will, nothing happens. The Love Aspect provides cohesion and the mind aspect is the organizing force, but Will is the impulse to creation. It is also seen esoterically as the destructive force. Picasso told us “every act of creation is first and act of destruction.” This is a perfect description of the will principal by, among other things, a sculptor.

In order to release the envisioned masterpiece trapped within the stone, we must remove everything that does not reflect that perfection. There is an old elephant joke from when I was a kid. How do you sculpt an elephant statue? Start with a large block of stone… remove everything that doesn’t look like an elephant. Its important to start with the end in mind so that you don’t remove anything that does look like an elephant. The vision has to be clear and held constant, and that can be harder than the act of sculpting away the non-essentials.

There is a point when the sculpor may look around and think, as I am right now, that he has created nothing but a pile of rubble. I am losing faith. A part of me is falling apart. I look at my hands to see if they are shaking because they feel like they are, or should be. They are not. The better part of me knows that this too shall pass, but it is getting harder to keep the vision in mind. I don’t always know what I am working toward. I am trying really hard to keep open to the possibilities and welcome change but the masterpiece is still trapped in the stone. I am getting trapped in survival mode and that will make it impossible to grow.

I have seen unfinished works from the masters where some of the statue looks finished and the stone is essentially polished, right up to a point where it is just raw unshaped stone. It doesn’t seem like how you would make an elephant, but I guess there is a need for even a master sculptor to see a bit of success along the way to perfection. Something to keep the dream alive, so to speak. Something to keep the vision of future beauty real. I could really use one of those moments. I could really use some positive feedback from the system here. I feel like I’m drowning and at times it’s getting tough to justify swimming at all.

I did find a job, and that is great, but the pay cut is killing me. I may have my credit ruined before I sell my house. Its getting close to being a stale listing and I am in peak selling season. I think the fix and flip industry that came alive during the foreclosure epidemic has ruined it for anyone who is selling a house that is not brand new from the ground up. That is just detail and surface circumstance. What I am beginning to wonder on a bigger scale is why the reconstruction of my life requires the absolute destruction of everything I have ever built.

Isn’t there any part of my life that already looks like an elephant? Do I have to be destitute, or at least broke, to accomplish my next task? How can I accomplish anything with nothing? I try hard to do the right thing in every situation and I feel like I am being smacked down. This seems to extend into every area of my life, including the new job. I have been through this before and came out OK. I know on an intellectual level that this will be the case again. I also know I don’t have to understand the “why” right now, but I would sure like to.

Right now I am just standing in the rubble and wondering if I can ever create beauty out of this mess. My heart is broken and the peices are heavy. I need a win. I’m sure many of you know this feeling. I’m hoping you get your win soon. I honestly don’ know what is going to happen to me. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Course Corrections

There are moments in our lives that may seem unimportant at the time but their significance is realized later. Sometimes we have an intuitive understanding even at that moment but the “gravity” of it still needs to creep in over time. I am a little hesitant to share this particular story because it may seem unimportant and shallow at first but it was a moment of deep meaning and change for me. I am about to expose myself in a way that makes me feel just a bit uncomfortable but this at the same time makes it seem more important that I do.

After my father died I was left with the responsibility of bringing his work to the world. I did not feel there was anyone else that could or would accomplish this. The family as a whole has been behind me all the way and in my absence I am sure one of them would have taken up this mantle, but at the time it did seem that if this was going to happen, it would have to be me. I took the responsibility very seriously.

At the same time, I was trying to find an appropriate business in which I could invest so that we could make a living and support our family. My wife does not work outside the home and with little recent business experience it is difficult for her to find work that is not mundane, or earn a wage that makes the sacrifices we would have to endure worthwhile. There was some money from his estate and we were trying to find the best way to use this to change our circumstances. It was difficult for other reasons as well. We don’t drink, and have not for 9 years now, so buying a bar would not work even though I would like to have an outlet like that for my music. We don’t believe in eating meat so there was no sandwich shop, etc. I have left behind so much of the common interests of people that we struggled to find something we could do that would be popular enough to make money, but that we could believe in and not feel we were pedaling poison.

One day I was driving down the road listening to a motivational speaker named Jeffery Combs. We had met at a seminar and shared some conversation. I had given him a copy of Book I in my father’s trilogy and he had given me this CD. He was talking about wealth and success and those sorts of things and he said that sometimes we come across a situation where there is little or no risk, little or no “down side” and everything possible on the “up side”. It’s very rare but when you come across that you have got to go “all in”.

I realized that what my father had left behind really represented the “work” I needed to do, whether it ever made a dime to support my family or not. I would not be pushing sugar or some other addiction. I would not be compromising any principal in order to make a dollar. It was something I had set myself to and intended to do. Part of the issue with starting a business was that it would be an all consuming pursuit, especially at the outset and I did not want to be a prisoner to it because I had all of this other work to do.

I began to cry, and remember saying “OK dad, I’m in”. In with both feet, no matter what the results might be. I was using his money to complete his work, and it has become mine. It has cost a fortune but it was not a mistake. The work itself and the commitment have had a profound effect on my life. I have had moments of pain when I felt I had made a mistake in committing the resources, because I have not really gotten these books to the world… yet. It was just impatience.

I realize that if it takes the rest of my life, I can’t stop anyway, so how was starting a mistake? I do not compromise my ethics for money. I will not change my work for the lack of it. It was a profound lesson in detachment. Dad told me once that the sun doesn’t whine or complain when clouds get in the way and its rays are not enjoyed by anyone. It simply shines because that is its nature. He also said if these books were perchance never read that represented a mechanism for him to work on himself and had thus served a purpose anyway. They, along with the rest of the teachings to which I have now exposed myself, have changed my life in ways I could never have anticipated including its overall direction.

Sometimes when we take that leap of faith we think we know where it will lead and just hope we succeed in getting there. Sometimes success comes in the form of course corrections we can’t foresee.