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A NHNE Special Report:

Discernment
& The Spiritual Path

Friday, July 7, 1995
By David Sunfellow




Copyright 1995 By NewHeavenNewEarth
Published By NewHeavenNewEarth / nhne@nhne.com

Please feel free to pass this NHNE Special Report on to as many people as you like. If you do share this NHNE Special Report with others, we ask that you reproduce it in its entirety (including all credits, copyright notices and addresses), not alter its contents in any way, and pass it on to others free of charge.


 

[Editor's note: Since this report was first published, we have become aware of serious issues casting doubt on the trustworthiness of the Ray Stanford psychic readings which are prominently featured in this report. The information we have concerning the Stanford material also calls into question the credibility of the journals, newsletters, books ("Speak Shining Stranger", "Fatima Prophecy", "The Spirit Unto The Churches"), and other publications of the Association for the Understanding of Man, as well as other materials that are based on Stanford's readings. If you would like to find out more about this, you are invited to write us at nhne@nhne.com.]

 

Discernment
& The Spiritual Path

By David Sunfellow

Introduction

The Purpose of Life

The Spiritual Path:

The Role of Masters
False Prophets
Outer Declarations & Elaborate Hierarchies
Signs & Wonders
Inner Experiences
The Clearest Indication
All Things To All Men
The Simplest Opportunities
Compassion In Every Action
Rushing
Suffering
Prayers of Protection
The Mark of Purpose
How to Recognize a Perfect Master

Jesus:

The Master of Masters
Contacting Jesus
The Path of Jesus

Conclusion





Introduction

In ages past, most spiritual teachers and teachings could not really be tested. If, for instance, an eastern guru claimed he had attained perfection and was able to demonstrate a few unusual qualities or powers, then his claim might be accepted at face value. Thrust this same guru into another culture, say a western culture that forced him to demonstrate mastery of other aspects of life, and his apparent perfection might evaporate very quickly. He might find himself sorely ill-equiped to deal with forces he never encountered in his native culture; he might discover that his claims of perfection were ill-founded and that the spiritual path itself was seriously misunderstood.

Now that people all over the world are talking to one another--examining their histories, sharing their encounters with the divine, pooling their talents and resources--humanity, as a whole, is finally beginning to see itself more clearly. Archetypal truths are beginning to emerge and, along with them, true measurements of what is, and what isn't, human perfection. Indeed, the purpose of life itself is finally beginning to emerge from the confusing canvas of human history.

At this early stage of the new global game, though, the big picture is not very clear--at least to most of us. What most of us see is a great cloud of archeologists, physicists, geologists, historians, genealogists, sociologists, philosophers, psychics, visionaries and common everyday people trying to put all the pieces together.

From one perspective, it is quite an inspiring sight. Humanity finally has enough information, resources and genuine hunger for the truth to do some serious searching!

But from another perspective, all the commotion is very unsettling. For while humanity is busy tearing down, digging up, debating, testing and sorting itself out, we are faced with a great deal of uncertainty. We no longer know what is true and what is not.

While I wish I could present an iron-clad report that answered all the big questions about the spiritual path, such a report is not possible. Not only am I not wise and experienced enough to write such a report, but there are too many questions that remain to be thoroughly explored.

What I can do, however, is share with you some of the most thought-provoking information I have come across in my search for truth. While many questions will be left unanswered by this report, when all the information I am about to share with you is put together, it does form an unusually comprehensive picture.

As you read this Special Report, you will see that it consists mostly of quotes from other sources rather than comments from me. I have decided to present the information in this fashion because many of my own thoughts and perspectives trace back, at least in part, to these sources. In many cases, my own experience can testify to the accuracy of the information presented here. In other cases, I have yet to experience what some of these sources promise is possible.

In either case, everything I am about to share with you faithfully reflects what I presently believe--and why.

With that said, let's get started by taking a look at the granddaddy of all spiritual questions: What is the purpose of life?





The Purpose of Life

Over the ages a great many ideas have been presented about why you and I are alive, here, on this planet. While many western philosophies claim that we aren't supposed to be here at all, that our presence here is, in fact, a mistake, a fall, the result of a willful and misguided rebellion against God, many eastern philosophies have taken another approach: we AREN'T really here--nothing is. Life on this planet, and everywhere in the created is universe, is all an illusion, a dream, a nightmare of endless suffering that has no purpose. We are here only to awaken as quickly as we can.

While I'm personally convinced that these two great streams of thought are deeply mistaken, they both seem to contain important truths. Perhaps we left ("fell from") a higher state of consciousness to enter a lower one. Perhaps the created universe is a dream that leapt into existence to serve an exalted, carefully orchestrated divine plan.


"The separation from God began a journey of love. The individuating consciousness seeks, through the experience of human reality, to know itself fully and completely so that it can return to the Oneness with a greater light and a greater understanding. This adds to the reality of the Oneness for all things are in a state of continual expansion and creation."

From the psychic readings of Emmanuel as recorded in Emmanuel's Book, by Pat Rodegast



"The entire process of evolution is from unconscious divinity to conscious divinity."

"Perfection is the full development of all aspects of personality."

"When the soul leaves the ego shell and enters into the infinite life of God, its limited individuality is replaced by unlimited individuality... individuality is not extinguished; it becomes spiritualized."

"Perfection does not belong to God as God, nor does it belong to man as man. We get perfection when man becomes God, or God becomes man. The finite being who is conscious of the finite is short of perfection; but when he becomes conscious of being one with the Infinite, he is perfect."

Meher Baba
From the book, God To Man, Man To God



"Some have said that the uniqueness of Christ as Jesus was that a man became conscious of God, that an individual became conscious of God. But we would now give a greater significance: GOD BECAME CONSCIOUS AS AN INDIVIDUAL! This is why you are in the earth--not to become conscious of God, for you were that before entering the earth. Not that, as many religions and people believe, but that God would become conscious AS MAN, that God would become an individual. There is a difference. One is a transformation, an amelioration, the purpose for which he entered. The other is,well, merely returning the pancake to its batter."

From Creation,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


These ideas have some very powerful ramifications. If they are true, we aren't defective or rebellious (and neither are our souls). Nor are we on some wayward journey that we have to feel bad or guilty about. Instead, we are beautiful beings on a carefully orchestrated adventure from the One, back to the One, building an individualized consciousness that can more fully appreciate our divine natures once we have finished our long journey through the dream of life.

A worthy adventure.

But, apparently, there are some dangers.

If, for instance, we are confused about the nature of our journey through life, we might think we are supposed to return to our original state of being; we might believe we are supposed to lose our individuality and dissolve back into the One. Some sources indicate that the desire to lose ourselves in the original Oneness is a serious mistake--with serious consequences. The reoccurring phenomenon of eastern gurus coming to America and then self-destructing amid various scandals may bear witness to the fact that something more is required of human beings than simply meditating and trying to return to the One. Human perfection may mean that our individuality, our personality, our moral and ethical character, our relationships with other human beings may require as much, if not more, time and attention as other parts of our life and personal makeup.


"There are two basic approaches to human spirituality. The first one is to emphasize, concentrate, and focus on the divine possibility within until this possibility becomes a reality. Many movements exist that have practices, teachings, and exercises that help actively and effectively toward this end. All energies and concentration are directed toward cultivating and enhancing, manifesting and expressing, the divine reality within. However, this does not necessarily mean that the other fragmentary levels of consciousness are thereby automatically eliminated and incorporated into the divine center. It is quite possible and, indeed, a frequent occurrence that such practices genuinely bring out the real, Higher Self yet leave the underdeveloped aspects of consciousness intact.

"Many entities have such an intense longing to realize their divine, inherent nature that they forget, while in the body, that they came to fulfill a mission in the universal plan. This mission is the purification and growth of undeveloped cosmic matter. In order to do this, the second approach must be adopted. And that is to shed the light of conscious awareness and experience on the inner distortions, the ugliness, the darkness, the evil, the suffering, as well as on the inner truth, the beauty, the love, the goodness, the joy."


"It is necessary to attempt, again and again, to get in touch with the Higher Self, the divine consciousness that is ever-present, immutable, and immediately available within you. When this is done for the purpose of making distorted levels of soul substance conscious and in order to reorient them, so as to unify all split-off soul substance, meditation must take a different road from the kind of meditation that is used for the sole purpose of realizing the Divine Self while disregarding the dark aspects of the self. It is a current illusion and wishful thinking that this latter approach automatically deals with the dark side of human nature. This cannot be so. You cannot overcome what you have not consciously and fully experienced. This wishful hope with which you are all familiar is nourished by the fact that it is indeed possible to realize the already potentially present part of the God self. It is very important, my friends, to understand this clearly. This is why it is often true that entities once they shed the body who have led a difficult and apparently unspiritual life, do more toward the universal process of evolution than some others who have led an extremely spiritual life, who may even have been so-called 'masters,' but who have cultivated their beauty and disregarded their ugliness. They have thus failed to unify and so have unwittingly perpetuated the dualistic state of consciousness in which this earth finds itself."

From The Pathwork Guide Lectures of Eva Pierrakos,
Lecture 193


Along similar lines, the use of drugs and other forceful means of escaping and/or expanding our bodies and normal consciousness are also potentially dangerous. Instead of moving us forward toward becoming individualized channels through which the Higher forces can fully express themselves, such experiences tend to throw us back into more primitive stages of expression.


"When such a substance as LSD is taken into the system, through chemical stimulation relating to the glands, one is taken back in the activities of the evolutionary forces--the evolutionary forces of the body and soul. You may say that 'I, some, have experienced a glimpse of God, of Christ, in this way.' Have you? ... You have experienced somewhat of an awareness related to the Universal, to God. But, as in the beginning, it draws the focus of the mind back to the deep-set history of the soul and bodily evolution, to the SUBJECTIVE state of mind rather than to the OBJECTIVE state."

"Such experiences with these drugs hinder man toward the Christ consciousness. For while it is true that they attune him to God, they attune him as to the relationship of man with God BEFORE he was a spiritual being, rather than toward that which he is to become."

"We are not here for any purpose of escape. Through the nature of the spirit and soul, the forces have been built in man where it is here a bit, there a bit, stone upon stone; not a jump into the infinite--even with a few hours or days or weeks of preparation... No, it is not well at these times that man return to his unresolute beginnings. It would be more important and better that a man flounder for years, striving with his own personal problems to apply what he even consciously knows of the Christ ideal of love."

The Drug Dilemma,
From the psychic readings of Ray Stanford



"Question: Please outline an effective, safe method for me to astrally project myself. Could I benefit by contacting higher astral beings for advice and guidance? Are there any dangers, and how should I avoid them?

"Answer: Astral projection, so-called, is extremely dangerous, for influences from outside may enter... You are in a body for a purpose, and you have time to spend out of it between incarnations.

"What is more, the higher being of Self gives the surest, the best, and the highest guidance you could ever ask--far better than any astral beings could give you. This comes through dreams, from intuition, and by living love unto your fellow man, which opens the intuition, the sense of compassion, and gives knowing what to do. Thus, what higher source of guidance is there than the Christ within?

"The place for the astral body is in the physical body. It is the contact between the higher and the material expression, an instrument responded by the mind. It is dangerous to send it out. If you have to be somewhere else in consciousness, let the consciousness be there, but leave the astral body where it belongs. This is the only form of 'projection' of consciousness that should be used by self, and it is not astral projection."

Astral Travel,
From the psychic readings of Ray Stanford


So that's a quick overview of what some sources have to say about the purpose of life--and a few of its pitfalls. Now let's take a closer look at the spiritual path itself.





The Spiritual Path

Most of us begin our spiritual journey not knowing anything. We don't know what to think, what to do or, even, who to ask for help. We just know that we have some nagging questions that we need help answering.

Once our search has begun in earnest, we soon discover that there are multitudes of spiritual teachers and teachings just waiting to help. And while we all are led wherever we need to learn our lessons, in the beginning of our journey many of the places we are led may not be particularly pleasant. We may, for instance, end up following a whole string of yogis, gurus, masters and other spiritual guides that we think are truly inspired, only to discover that they are partly or wholly bogus.

Eventually, we come to understand that not everyone, or everything, is what it claims or appears to be. Discernment becomes very important. Some teachers and paths are relatively solid paths back to God, while others are not.

So how do we tell the difference between paths that are truly inspired versus paths that are seriously deluded? Here are a few quotes worth thinking about.


The Role of Masters:

"The elimination of the ego from consciousness is necessarily an intricate process. The nature of the ego itself is very complicated and divine grace is needed to overcome it. Since the ego has almost endless possibilities of securing its existence and creating self-delusions, the aspirant finds it impossible to cope with its ever-fresh forms and can hope to be successful with the tricks of the ego only through the grace of a Master. It is when the aspirant is driven to realize the futility of his own efforts that he approaches a Master. He can by himself make little headway towards the goal that he seeks. The persistence of the ego leads him to self-exasperation; and it is in this perception of helplessness that he surrenders to the Master. The self-surrender amounts to an admission that the aspirant has given up hope of tackling the problems of the ego by himself and that he relies upon the Master."

"The Master takes infinite pains to win the disciple for spiritual life. Since progress is secured only if love for the Master is not allowed to decrease, he takes care to remove obstacles in the way of whole-hearted devotion. And sometimes he is seen to humour the disciple, even to feed the ego of the disciple; but this is to give a long rope to ignorance in preparation for the final extinguishing of the ego. The Master is not perturbed by the failings of the disciple, which he tolerates with patience and infinite capacity to wait, knowing that when the disciple gets established on the Path, these failings will disappear. Once the Master is satisfied that the disciple is firmly established, he cleanses the mind of the disciple of blemishes and often achieves this at the risk of appearing ruthless. The usual method of the Master, however, is as sweet and agreeable as it is effective."

"The Master, on rare occasions, may use his occult powers to break down the ego of his disciples or help them. But the Masters are very sparing in the use of such powers. Ordinarily, they secure their purposes through normal means, but they exhibit understanding, sense of humour, unending patience and consummate tact, and also take great trouble to help their disciples adjust themselves to the needs of any situation."

"The sense of undivided loyalty to the Master is made possible by right understanding of what the Master is and what he stands for. If the disciple has an imperfect grasp of the status and function of the Master, he is likely to set up a false antithesis between his own Higher Self and the Master; and as a consequence, he may have in his mind an imaginary conflict between claims of the Master and other claims. But a disciple should from the beginning realize that the Master requires only that the disciple should realize his own Higher Self."

"The disciple... must test his own promptings by means of the orders given by the Master, and in the event of conflict he should re-examine his own ideas. Almost always a little reflection is sufficient to enable him to perceive the harmony between his own Higher Self and the requirements of the Master. If, however, the disciple in unable to reconcile the two, he may be sure that he has not grasped what the Master says. Under such circumstances the Master requires the disciple to follow his conscience at any cost...."

Meher Baba
From the book, God To Man, Man To God


False Prophets:

"As to other manifestations of false prophets, the evidence of that manifestation may be found inherent in the claims which are made. When, for example, a claim or a statement or a proclamation is issued, whether supposedly coming from the conscious mind of an individual or from a supposed unconscious communication, that states that its purpose is centered upon God and the spiritual unfoldment in man, and yet when its contents deal with those things which but aggrandize the ego or excite the emotions and petty attachments to trivia, then you may know that it does not issue from the deeper element of whatever outside being issued the information.

"Examples are those supposed communications which have been issued through some channels that claim to be playing a key part in the coming of a new age in earth, of the Christ Consciousness, of Love, and so forth; and yet which on every hand tell the participants therein that they are the reincarnation of archangels, masters, prophets, disciples, or in some cases, even Jesus himself. All such practices lead away and may be taken as clear-cut evidence that the Spirit is absent from those communications, but the mind and ego are present...."


"It is important to understand what level of need, superficial as it is, becomes involved where individual psychics assign to self and to others important positions in relationship to Jesus, in his discipleship of the twelve, or others by whatever number, or other such important groups, and identify with them. You see, often such groups follow an archetype, as did Jesus with his disciples. The archetype was established even before the indwelling of Jesus in the earth--the choice of the disciples, the failure of the one, and the renewal. That archetype has occurred in many aspects throughout the history of the earth. Thus, as there is an attempt to strive toward realization, often groups fall into the illusion of a synthetic archetype. That is to say, the archetype is sensed but is artificially focused upon by levels of the conscious and semiconscious mind. And because of the unconscious knowledge that the true archetype has not been lived, has not been responded to adequately, a pseudo-archetype is established... "

From Psychic Sources: Their Uses and Abuses,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


Outer Declarations & Elaborate Hierarchies:

"Communications and information come from various levels of consciousness. But when there are reached those levels that are higher in relationship to purpose, realization, and so forth, they never brandish about medallions, signs, awards, or indications of their spiritual structure, excepting the fruits of the spirit and wisdom itself. There is no sense of display of interrelationships. It is a thing which is autonomic. It is not a thing which is organized and that can be called by various assignments...

"When you see these things attributed to higher beings, know that it is a projection of mind, which obsessively and artificially organizes. The true organization is autonomic, internal. There is also the central aspect of will. On the other hand, it does not put out or issue forth diagrams of its organization, for its organization is inherent and taoistic. It is not something, in other words, that is structured by mind or that may be comprehended by the conscious mind. It is in accord with the Tao of the heavenly structure itself."

From Psychic Sources: Their Uses and Abuses,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


Signs & Wonders:

"Question: Are there any miraculous manifestations, such as the stigmata, emanation of white light from the body, emanation of heavenly odors, or the ability to live without food, which can be looked upon as prima facie evidence of high spiritual consciousness?

"Answer: None of those named should be looked upon absolutely as such. Each can occur in circumstances other than the most holy, and in fact, far from it....

"There are, of course, the cases where true saints have evidenced each of those things mentioned. Thus, they may be a sign of sainthood, or of the indwelling of Love in an individual, but not necessarily so. There is but one evidence, and that is the fruits of the spirit. The gifts of the spirit can be duplicated purely by mind as the result of effort....Love, therefore, is the only single way that holiness may be known...."


"Question: Are consistently accurate predictions of the future to be considered evidence or even proof that a psychic source or spiritual teacher is serving divine will?"

"Answer: The only thing that you may be absolutely sure of when an individual consistently predicts the future is that the future is consistently being predicted, and that is simply it! It is no index, absolutely of spirituality."

From Psychic Sources: Their Uses and Abuses,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


Inner Experiences:

"We have no concern about sensations that you receive within the head, within the spine, within the glands, or about visions and words and pretty things which you see within. We, from within you, would seek to draw you only to The Supreme Goal of life....We are not concerned if you see a vision of one that you believe to be Jesus or of any other so-called 'Master.' These are the projections of your own unconscious and are petty symbols and tinsel that you will take and shortchange yourself, instead of going beyond these unconscious projections to an awareness of pure spirit, of the light and love, the ringing radiance of God."

A Search For God,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford



"It is the purity of purpose, the consciousness of man to let go of himself, that determines to what degree the Christ Consciousness, or even the individuality called Jesus, is contacted in time and space. Oft times it has been such as him that has appeared. Let none deny it, for if so, they deny themselves. In the greater part, however, these have not been the individual Jesus, excepting of that facsimile of him within the unconscious of those individuals receiving same..."

From Psychic Sources: Their Uses and Abuses,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


The Clearest Indication:

"Remember, the clearest index in evaluating a positive relationship to any channel of psychic information, including that which you believe may be coming from within yourself, is: 'Does it truly turn me to God, or to the tinsel and illusion of mind and of the world? Does it gain me strength in looking within and encourage me to that strength, or does it provide a crutch which, if continuously used, results in weakness?'"

From Psychic Sources: Their Uses and Abuses,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


All Things to All Men:

"Put first into your own experience and activity those teachings of him (Jesus), not as tenets but as living experiences. Learn that lesson which he so well manifested; that it was not in the separation, as John; not in the running away, as Elijah; not in sitting in high places, as Isaiah; not in mourning, as Jeremiah; not in lording over others, as Moses; but in being all things to all men. Reach them in their own plane of experience, and not with a long face.

"For as he did; he wined; he dined with the rich; he consorted with the poor; he entered the temple on state occasions; he slept in the field with the shepherds; he walked by the seashore with the throngs; he preached to those in the mount--all things. Yet, he was ever ready to present the tenets and truths in the form of tales and parables, and in activities that took hold upon the lives of men and women in every walk of human experience.

"...Truth is Truth, ever, in whatever stage of evolution or realm you find it. It is as he gave, the little leaven. Think not, even as he, to do some great deed that would make thy word ring throughout the earth. Rather, know that it is the little line, the little precept, and the little lessons given which bring the awareness into the hearts and souls of men and women. For, as proclaimed of old, it is not in the thunder or lightning, it is not in the storm, it is not in the loudness, but in the still small voice within."

From the psychic readings of Edgar Cayce
Reading 1472


The Simplest Opportunities:

"Perhaps that was one of the most obvious and significant or noticeable differences between the human life and the life of the Master. He was never blind, neither was he deaf to the simplest opportunities and the simplest things along the way."

From Reflections Upon Reality,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


Compassion In Every Action:

"Study the New Testament for an understanding of how in every action, in every deed taken by the Master, there was first the motivation of compassion. No, not an attempt to illustrate metaphysical truths; no, not an attempt to demonstrate healing ability; no, not an attempt to illustrate the law (yet to acknowledge its existence)--but to show that above all these things was love. Not an attempt to gain followers, but to demonstrate the possibility of love in one's life. If you study it in this relationship, in relationship to every action, attempting to see how it was centered upon this, a great meaning may come in the experience."

From Releasing Attachments,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


Rushing:

"Spirit is expedient, as has been often given through this channel, but it is never rushed. That source of information that may speak through yourself, your own mind, or through another to you, that is rushing you to be various things, to say various things, to do various things, rushing you, is not the Spirit of Truth, but is the spirit of darkness, of deception..."

From Psychic Sources: Their Uses and Abuses,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


Suffering:

"Remember, when one seeks and begins the path toward reality, there is a good deal of suffering to be accepted with it. When you find those sources that constantly tell you that suffering is not necessary, that the Way is a totally positive one, that there is no suffering, ask them, 'Then why did the Lord suffer; are you better than He?'

"All must suffer in the valley of sorrows until the heights are reached, and even then there is an occasional slip and fall back into the valley itself."

From Psychic Sources: Their Uses and Abuses,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford



"There is no birth of consciousness without pain."

Carl Jung


Prayers of Protection:

"Question: If there are specific forms of prayers or specific meditative techniques by which a psychic channel may protect against evil influences and improve the quality of the information channeled, please describe such prayers and/or techniques.

"Answer: You see, prayers can become superficial. A psychic channel may use any manner of prayer, but unless it is felt deeply and with sincerity, words of themselves are hardly efficacious in protection. But to the one that is imbued with the spirit of service and of love, there is no need for artificial protection. The protection is in the dedication to service and the dedication to love, and where there is that there is no need for any other protection whatsoever."

From Psychic Sources: Their Uses and Abuses,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


The Mark of Purpose:

"Question: Is it possible to determine whether the information channeled by a psychic source is valid or of value by observing the personal life of the psychic channel?

"Answer: Much would depend upon the discernment of the person observing the life. For example, there are periods in the life of the Master Jesus where few would have recognized His stature. There are a number of periods in the lives of various saints where still fewer would have recognized that here was an embryonic saint.

"Therefore, unless one is extremely patient, intuitive, and discerning, it is difficult to make any distinct or highly credible judgments on the basis of a few events or of short-term observation. But where the sense of purpose in the life may be seen in evidence by external events and studied over an enduring period of time, that is the clearest evidence (if one does not use intuition) of the stature of the individual--the consistency in high purpose. Even if that one often fails, that is no sign of a lack of stature necessarily. The consistency of high purpose, the dedication, the devotion to that purpose--not necessarily the failures--is what is most important."

From Psychic Sources: Their Uses and Abuses,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford


How to Recognize a Perfect Master:

"Question: Is there an infallible method for a spiritual aspirant to recognize a Perfect Master?"

"Answer: One is not able to distinguish satisfactorily between those who are spiritually advanced and those who are stationed on the various planes of consciousness... But if one is fortunate enough to come in contact with Perfection, there are unmistakable signs for the patient and sincere seeker of Truth."

"There are three important factors characteristic of the state of Perfection:

"First, perfection is not only 'Oneness with God,' but the continued and uninterrupted experience of Oneness with everything. A Perfect Master continuously experiences or realizes his own Self as the Self in all. This inner experience objectively manifests itself in the spontaneity of Love that such a one feels or expresses towards all creation. To him nothing is attractive or repulsive: good, bad; saint, sinner; beauty, ugliness; wisdom, idiocy; health, disease; these are all different modes and moods of his own manifestation. When a Perfect Master loves, fondles, or feeds any living creature, he feels and enjoys as if he is loving, fondling and feeding his own Self. In this state no vestige of 'otherness' is left."

"The second point is the undeniable atmosphere of bliss which a Perfect Master radiates in his immediate vicinity and which a visitor cannot help feeling and noticing. A Perfect Master not only enjoys infinite bliss, but also experiences universal suffering. The poignancy of suffering, however, is nullified and subdued by the overwhelming joy or feeling of bliss. Hence, a Perfect Master outwardly always appears blissfully calm and unperturbed in the face of every kind of pain, persecution and poverty."

"The third most outstanding characteristic of Perfection is its power to adapt itself to any level or class of humanity. A Perfect Master is as nonchalant on a throne as he is indifferent and undisturbed in a gutter. He is poor with the poor, rich with the rich, lordly with kings, wise with the learned, and naively simple and innocent with the illiterate and ignorant. Just as a master of arts delivers and teaches English to a beginner in a different way than to an undergraduate, similarly a Perfect Master adapts himself to the level of the one whom he wants to uplift spiritually. The actions of the Perfect Master fit perfectly the need and aptitude of each and every one."

Meher Baba,
From the book, It So Happened by William Le Page


Now that we have taken a look at a few issues related to discernment and the spiritual path, I'm finally ready to wrap up this Special Report with a concrete example of these principles at work in the earth.





Jesus

While I am not in the business of selling any particular teacher, teaching or spiritual path, I would be grossly negligent if I didn't spend a little time focusing on Jesus and the path he advocated. Almost all the sources I have come to trust insist that Jesus was the first one of us to perfectly fulfill God's plan for all of us. These sources also insist, often with great intensity, that Jesus is a living, dynamic, deeply responsive presence that can be turned to for help at any time. If this is true and if Jesus is who these sources claim he is, then anyone who is seriously interested in following the spiritual path back to God would be well advised to explore their relationship with him.

Here, then, are a few quotes about Jesus, followed by a summary of his essential teachings.


The Master of Masters:

"You may know that there is The Grand Man. There is the Sant Satguru. There is one that satisfies the entire man, where full realization may be found. That is to say, the highest guru would be the one that takes on the pattern related to man's evolution within the world; more accurately, the one that takes on the pattern and exemplifies perfectly God's becoming individualized in the earth. When that is the case perfectly, you may assure yourself that such an individual takes on the pattern of Infinity and the Absolute.

"Some time ago within a reading, there was the question, 'Was the Master Jesus ever sick? Did he ever marry? Did he indulge himself?' And the answer to all these questions should be understood in the negative: He did not. For in that individual is the archetypal pattern which satisfies not only the personal level, but the collective level of unconscious mind. This is why so many of you and others, when rising in devotion through one system or another, begin to come into conflict and feel somehow that your mode of practice, your means, perhaps your way, do not somehow fit the pattern that satisfies all conditions and all needs. The purest, highest, most divine Satguru, True Master, Lord of Lords, is therefore satisfying those conditions at the unconscious, at the collective level, reaching from the highest to the lowest.

"In a recent reading you were told... that Jesus is a living Master. He took his body with him... Many have moved along the road toward the Grand Man, the Perfect Being; but as given... the first to reach the level of the complete man, which completes the process of creation... including the external manifestation or sign thereof in the so-called immaculate conception or virgin birth, was Jesus. And something more. Now, in this age, none other has attained this condition. It is only in the next age that you will begin to move more fully in that direction, for here has been set the pattern, and there are phases of growth before perfection."

From In Search Of The Perfect Master,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford



"The Master of Masters, Jesus, is not, as some of you egotistically have conceived, a denizen of the second, the third, or the fourth spiritual plane alone. For in all regions of consciousness does the true Master dwell, no matter under what body or name the true Master appears.

"What is more, the Master Jesus in fact carried with him the physical body, having transformed it, through mastery over mind, to a state of complete compliance with conscious volition. He is not brandishing it about, you may be sure, or he would be no better than those masters of the regions of mind who display psychic phenomena and yogic powers for the purpose of astounding the intellect and drawing materialistic believers to them. If that is the highest that they can conceive, then it is satisfactory unto their karmas....

"So important are the things which occurred prior to, during, and after the recorded life of the Master Jesus that these have become an archetypal manifestation in the world today, yesterday, and will be tomorrow--whether you like it or not; whether it suits your intellectual predisposition or not, it is so and will remain so. For man's becoming God--or God's becoming man, more accurately--is no petty, commonplace event in the history of man's evolution."

From the psychic readings of Ray Stanford which appeared in the book,Fatima Prophecy



"He has established Jesus as the leader in carrying out His plan since he was the first to complete his own part perfectly. All power in Heaven and earth is therefore given him."

A Course In Miracles,
Manual, Page 85 (First Edition)



"Naturally, the question may come up: 'Can we find and reach God; can we attain perfection only through Jesus Christ?' The answer to this questions is Yes and No, my friends...

"You can reach a stage of development through every one of the great religions, as well as the non-Christian ones, in which you can experience Absolute Truth. And no spirit of the World of God will ever tell you to leave your church or your temple or your faith. For if you have found what you seek and need in happiness, in spiritual food, and in the faith you are accustomed to, remain there. Enough of basic, fundamental truth and enough of what you need for your spiritual development is contained , as I have said, in all the great religions. It is only up to you to find out what these truths are that you need for your personal development and to put it into practice...

"Since Christ represents such an important part of your returning to God and thus deserves your personal gratefulness and some contact with him, you will not be able to reach God without him in the very last analysis. He is, indeed, the best friend you could ever have and he is your strongest helper. In this respect concerning the question of whether you can reach God only through him, the answer is Yes. For the constant denying of these facts would imply a stubbornness of your heart that is a symptom of imperfection; and as long as any imperfection is alive within you, you cannot unite with God."

From The Pathwork Guide Lectures of Eva Pierrakos,
Lecture 19



"Is he God's only Helper? No, indeed, for Christ takes many forms with different names until their oneness can be recognized. But Jesus is for you the bearer of Christ's single message of Love of God. You need no other."

A Course In Miracles,
Manual, Page 84 (First Edition)



"Is it true in the hearts of men that there may be sought others that may aid them in comprehending or awakening themselves? True indeed may this be, but...Let Him (Jesus) send whom He would for the development, but rather prepare thine own body, thine own soul, for that meeting with him."

From the psychic readings of Edgar Cayce,
Reading 254-71


Contacting Jesus:

"It is the purity of purpose, the consciousness of man to let go of himself, that determines to what degree the Christ Consciousness, or even the individuality called 'Jesus,' is contacted in time and space."

From Psychic Sources: Their Uses and Abuses,
A psychic reading done by Ray Stanford



"I will come in response to a single, unequivocal call." A Course In Miracles,
Text, Page 56 (First Edition)



"When I said , 'I am with you always,' I meant it literally. I am not absent to anyone in any situation." A Course In Miracles,
Text, Pages 107-108 (First Edition)



"Invite him, by name, by purpose, by desire, to be thy companion in all that ye do, all that ye say. He rejecteth not those who willingly, honestly, sincerely invite him to be with them. As he never rejected an invitation by any as he walked in the earth as an individual, neither does he reject the invitation of a soul that seeks, in sincerity, his companionship."

From the psychic readings of Edgar Cayce,
Reading 622-6



"You may be mentally completely reconciled to his reality. You may have used your personal will to make this total surrender and you may sincerely mean it. Yet you may not have experienced the emotional reality of his sweet and loving Presence. Often man becomes impatient and then he begins to doubt, thus disrupting the plant he has sown. When the emotional experience fails to materialize for a while, it is not that he keeps you waiting. It is that your inner barriers need to give way. And that can happen only with the context of your unique, personal rhythm pattern. Remember that and do not despair. Christ is here. He hears you. He loves you. He protects you. He is deeply concerned with you, even though your senses are still too dull to perceive it. But suddenly will the time come when you will be intensely aware of this fact. You will feel his loving arms, healing arms in which you can always rest and find new sustenance for your life work."

From The Pathwork Guide Lectures of Eva Pierrakos,
Lecture 258


The Path of Jesus:

Based on what these sources, other sources like them, and my own experience and research has turned up so far, I, too, believe that Jesus was the first one of us to perfectly understand and fulfill God's plan for all of us. Because of this, I believe the spiritual path Jesus advocated is the clearest, most complete and most reliable path back to God ever given to humanity. If we are able to strip away centuries of Christian dogma, the path Jesus lived and taught is lean and mean; it contains some of the noblest truths ever given to man and, at the same time, is surprisingly free of the blind spots and imperfections that accompany most other spiritual paths. It is, in my opinion, the path that all other spiritual paths should be measured against.

Here, then, is a summary of the essential spiritual path that Jesus lived and taught as I presently understand it:

--Jesus advocated a path of inclusiveness. In the face of enormous cultural and religious pressure, he insisted on treating everyone (including women) as equals. Especially important (and especially troubling to those who knew Jesus) was Jesus' resolute determination to associate with people considered unclean. Since the Jewish culture of Jesus' time believed that their salvation depended on keeping themselves pure (which meant, in part, NOT associating with people who had sinned), Jesus' insistence on associating with the unclean and outcast elements of his culture was considered a grave threat to the salvation of the Jewish people. Some argue that this was the main reason Jesus was eventually killed.

--Jesus insisted that God was a kind, loving, ever-present and ever-forgiving Presence, even going so far as to refer to Him as "Abba" (meaning something akin to "Papa"). Jesus championed this loving view of God in a culture that traditionally viewed God with fear and trepidation, as a force to be appeased and sacrificed to rather than a force to be regarded as a loving, doting, forgiving father. This, too, was a grave threat to those in authority who relied on a jealous, vengeful, letter-of-the-law image of God to force people to adhere to the religious and moral standards of their day.

--Although Jesus acknowledged the customs and traditions of his day (and even went so far as to become a Rabbi), he insisted that the real needs of men and women must always come before religious forms and traditions. He healed on the Sabbath, prevented at least one woman from being stoned according to Mosaic Law, and repeatedly challenged, sometimes apparently with great fervor, the letter-of-the-law orientation of those in authority. He insisted that religious forms were provided to serve man, not enslave man; to help man draw closer to God, not become gods in and of themselves.

--Jesus insisted that God and the Holy Spirit were always present and accessible. Jesus also indicated that this spiritual presence would be more accessible after he left (possibly because his followers would be forced to form a more direct relationship because of his physical absence, and/or because his resurrected spirit would be able to add more firepower to the equation). This, too, may have been seen as a serious threat to those in authority who believed that they were God's spokespeople and ordinary men and women needed to go through them in order to be instructed by God.

--Jesus insisted that the most important thing a person could do to find God was to love God and others. Love, in particular love as expressed to fellow human beings, was the foundation of Jesus' work and teaching. At every turn, in every situation, with rich people and poor, with sick people and outcasts, with those who were in power and those who were not, Jesus actively expressed love, especially love in the form of compassion, forgiveness and reaching out to those who were in need.

--Except for love, and, possibly the Lord's Prayer and the breaking of bread and sharing of wine, Jesus gave no particular commandments, techniques, or spiritual practices for his followers to adhere to (and, as already indicated, he repeatedly insisted that no form, tradition or spiritual practice was more important than learning to love God and one another).

--Jesus taught and demonstrated that true spirituality is accomplished more by living in the world seeking to love other human beings than by withdrawing from the world and isolating oneself from the challenges that human relationships, and life in the world, often bring.

--While insisting that our primary focus should be on living in the world, Jesus also indicated, by his own example, that it was occasionally necessary to withdraw from the world in order to renew ourselves and our relationship with God.

--Jesus indicated that life in the world, seeking to follow the path he championed, would not be easy--it would require patience, sacrifice and a firm, steadfast spirit. He also indicated that he would actively help those who sought to follow him and that the time they spent on earth sincerely seeking God would be richly rewarded.

--Jesus insisted that this world, and everything in it, is transitory. Because of this, our time should be spent building and nourishing things that last, chiefly our relationship with God and other human beings, rather than accumulating earthly treasures that have no lasting value.

--Jesus saw that people were at different levels of development and counseled them accordingly. While he upheld basic standards of morality and called everyone to learn to love, Jesus was profoundly flexible, compassionate and forgiving. Rather than dogmatically insisting that everyone live up to specific standards and callings, such as selling everything and following him or eating a particular diet, Jesus asked different things of different people--and loved them all with equal fervor. In addition, he insisted that enemies should be loved and those who fall short should be forgiven as often as they fall.

--Jesus encouraged people to be self-responsible, to think for themselves, to do what they knew to be right, to follow the promptings of God, whether or not those around them, or the society at large, agreed with them.

--So far as we know, Jesus had nothing to do with creating any kind of formal church structure. Apart from selecting 12 disciples to help spread his teaching, Jesus' main emphasis appears to be on teaching his disciples how to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit rather than relying on formal structures or elaborate chains of command. Although formal structures and elaborate chains of command eventually came to dominate the Christian movement, the early days were guided more by spontaneous visions and direct encounters with the Holy Spirit and Jesus. Healings, and other types of miracles, were also more frequently demonstrated by the early followers of Jesus than by later followers.

Although many aspects of the life and teachings of Jesus can be found in other religious traditions, there is no other historical personage that more fully embodied them. Likewise, although virtually every culture on the planet has myths and legends about various supernatural personages, Jesus is one of only a handful of supernatural personages who left behind a verifiable historical legacy. In the words of Joseph Campbell, the famous authority on world mythology, what distinguishes Jesus from almost all the rest of god-like people the world has ever produced was that in the case of Jesus "the myth became real." He incarnated in the earth as a human being and backed up his radical teachings with equally dramatic demonstrations of power and authority that not only deeply affected the area and culture in which he was born, but profoundly changed the rest of the world as well.

This, of course, is my reading of the life of Jesus. Others may see other aspects of his life that I have overlooked and/or disagree either wholly or partly with the things I have listed.





Conclusion

With whatever new insights and discoveries await us, it seems certain to me that both Jesus and the spiritual path that he lived and taught will not only continue to withstand the test of time, but that his unique contribution to our collective journey will continue to grow and deepen.

But whether we feel called to embrace Jesus or not, I at least hope that we can learn to be as tolerant, patient, forgiving, compassionate and loving with one another, as he was. Surely this is one part of Jesus' legacy that all true seekers can agree on and take to heart.

I think we can also take some comfort in the knowledge that time and experience will settle all of the questions this report has been wrestling with. In the end, that which is true will emerge and that which is not will quietly pass away. It is a waste of time to argue about these issues, especially when most of us don't really know the answers. The most we can do is share our thoughts and discoveries and encourage one another to follow whatever path seems right to us.

And, I think, we can trust God; we can trust ourselves; we can trust that a plan of some kind is unfolding, whether or not we fully understand it.





Note: Many of the Ray Stanford readings quoted in this Special Report appeared in an earlier publication of mine called, "Jesus According To The Psychic Readings Of Edgar Cayce, Ray Stanford and Paul Solomon." Prior to that, most of these quotes appeared in "The Journal Of The Association For The Understanding Of Man," a quarterly publication which is no longer in print.


 

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