Tag Archive | Free Will

The Book of Job

ImageI started thinking recently about the story of Job in the Bible.  I don’t know about you, but I always disliked this story.  The story always left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I think many people feel that way about it.  However I recently began to see this story from an angle which makes more sense and teaches us about the nature of the human condition and the nature of suffering.  So the story of Job in a nutshell is:  Job is a happy guy who loves God, has a loving family and lives in abundance.  The devil one day challenges God and says that Job would not love God anymore if he did not have the abundance and happiness that God had given him.  To prove the devil wrong, God allows the devil to take everything from Job.  Job loses his family, his wealth, his land, his health, everything – except his own life.  When Job challenges God asking why, God answers him by telling him that he cannot know the depth and greatness of God, that he cannot understand the infinite nature of God.  So on the surface this appears to be a story about a mean God who would rather win a bet with the devil than protect one of his own.  But let’s go deeper and look at it from the higher perspective of oneness.  First, we know that in actuality God and self are not separate.  Thus God in the story can be seen as the higher self of Job.  The devil is therefore the lower self of Job.  One thing to notice is that things only start going wrong for Job when the devil enters the picture.  When it is just him and God everything is abundance and happiness, it is the devil’s willingness to bet against happiness that starts the cascade of negative events.  I do not believe in the devil, but there is an energy which the devil represents.  The devil represents the polar opposite of the higher self.  The higher self is always in alignment with the universe, the ‘devil’ is that which is not in alignment, it is that which allows you to believe that you are separate from God, separate from your higher self.  Sometimes this part of oneself is referred to as Ego.  To be clear, Ego is not evil, but Ego is the aspect of you which allows you to perceive yourself as a separate entity in the universe, and therefore can lead to a belief that you are separate from God (though it does not have to).  Ego is the ‘lower self’ not because it is bad or wrong, but only because distinct from the whole, rather than the connection to the whole itself, which is what the higher self is.

Many of us live in relative abundance while simultaneously worrying that if we lose what we have, that we would lose ourselves too.  Who would I be if I lost everything?  How would I survive?  If my happiness is gone, what is the purpose anymore?  In other words, if I lost everything, if the things that make me happy go away, would I ever be able to align with my higher self again (and recognize that ‘aligning with higher self’ could be considered another way of saying ‘love God’)?  We think it’s easy to align with our higher selves (i.e. – be ‘happy’, or ‘love God’) while we are in abundance, and that it would be hard if we are not in abundance.  This however is backward thinking, because alignment with source, with higher self, is where abundance flows from.  Abundance is not required first in order to have connection to higher self, rather connection with higher self is required first to have abundance.  Abundance means happiness, it does not mean material wealth alone.  Remember many who are very wealthy are also very unhappy, so that is not true abundance.  True abundance extends to all areas of life and translates into true contentment, joy and peace in life. 

Back to Job.  This is essentially a story, a cautionary tale of you will, of what occurs when the lower self (ego, played here by the devil) is allowed to challenge the higher self (God).  Because we are free beings, we are allowed to do this, we are allowed to follow our ego instead of our highest selves if we choose this.  From this perspective, Job is not a victim, rather this is a choice Job makes on another level.  This leads to disastrous consequences, in a word – suffering.  Job suffers when the ego is allowed to challenge his alignment with higher self.  Then when he is at the bottom, the lowest point, he asks a logical question: “why?”  God’s answer is that he cannot understand the infinite nature of God.  This is Job’s higher self trying speaking to the ego, the higher self trying to re-integrate with Job’s ego, by making him realize that the infinite aspect of who he is, is the part which truly has the power in this universe, and that the ego’s power is an illusion.  The ego of Job is disconnected and cannot know abundance, and will only know suffering.  The ego believes in limits, therefore it cannot know the abundance that the highest self does. 

I always find it interesting to put a new spin on an old story.  This story like many in the bible is easier to understand when we look at the symbolic nature of the story rather than trying to take it literally.  Humanity has evolved since this story was written, and the original way it was presented worked for people of that time perhaps, but it does not work for people now because we have evolved past this notion of the human as separate from the rest of the universe.  We have evolved past the notion of a punishing God.  This story still has a fundamental truth hidden within it, but needs to be looked at from a new angle to see it.

Love and Light,

Rhea Jamil

Love and Karma

Heart-earth

The cycles of Karma have been perpetuated by love. How so? The origin and destiny of all things is love, the cosmic consciousness which connects all things is love, there is no getting away from that. We are all connected through karma, and Karma originates out of love as well. Think of it this way: could you go to heaven if your beloved is in hell? No, you never could. You might go, but your heart would remain with your suffering beloved and would never be at peace, and therefore you would never be fully in heaven, since heaven is eternal peace. In Buddhism, The Bodhisattva is one who achieves enlightenment, an end of their suffering, but stays in the karmic cycle out of their commitment to love, to be with those still suffering and show others the way. In a sense, we are all a kind of Bodhisattva, choosing to return to the darkness out of love. We are all one, so if you cannot go to heaven, neither can I. We will ascend or perish as one.

I believe what may have happened is this: in the beginning, we were one with source.  At some point, we decided to see what it was like to experience separateness. When we separated from source (which was done via the creation of an illusion that we were not of source), we became lost in unconsciousness. Since the Source sees us as beloved sees the lover, the source sent more and more parts of itself to bring back the lost ones back. This is like the shepherd analogy in the Bible, who will always look for his lost sheep. The source chose to not allow the lost sheep to wander forever in darkness, but has done everything it can to bring all beings back to itself, back to the light from which they originated. We, as humans, are all part of this divine project. We are the beings who have made this choice to go into the darkness and bring it back to the light. And in so doing, we have learned great lessons about what we are. We have learned by virtue of facing the energies which are not of source, namely fear, and in response we have expanded the energies which are of source, namely love. This love is not just love of what is good and beautiful and right. This is love that is unconditional, it does not require perfection, this is love that cannot be conquered by fear or darkness. This is the human love that stands strong in the face of suffering and has the power to transmute the dark illusionary forces into light. Our martyrdom has expanded the universe, which is built on love, since it has pushed the very boundaries of what love is capable of.

Your purpose, therefore, is to be the light in the dark place. The light is consciousness, the dark is unconsciousness. You brought the light here with you, it is you. Therefore your purpose is to be yourself. You release yourself from the cycles Karma by being the light that you already are, and then you become a beacon for others to release themselves. I believe Karma is much more forgiving than most people think, because the universe itself is without judgment, it is only here on this earthly unconscious plain that we judge. We are not here being punished for past misdeeds, rather we are here to learn how to shed the light in the darkness, and we have been willing to come here as many times as it takes for the light to fully penetrate the dark. In that process we have often gotten lost in the dark, but that is OK, it is all part of the process. In order to transcend the darkness of unconsciousness, one must fully experience it.  After all, you cannot transcend anything that you do not fully experience.

Namaste,

Rhea Jamil

Child of the Universe

thThe impetus of creation was the universe’s desire to know itself, to create itself and live through many different forms. When you think about it, it is somewhat like having a child. One of the reasons people have children, though not the only reason, is that they have the opportunity to live through them, to re-experience childhood. Suddenly Disney World is fun again because you get to experience it through your children’s eyes. It awakens a remembering of the magic you experienced in your childhood, so in a certain way you are living vicariously through your children. This is not a perfect analogy, but it is similar to how the universe creates you in order to experience itself from another perspective, to see itself through new eyes. However, as we know with children, they also have free will. At some point, they may turn and say “screw you mom and dad” and go their own way. Then, you will have to watch them as they make bad decisions and suffer the consequences of those bad decisions. And though you are always there willing to guide them, if they do not want to be guided there is not much you can do. In the end, you have to let them learn through the experience because you cannot control them (no matter how much you might want to). At some point, if they begin to realize the mistakes they’ve made, they may come back to you, at which most parents will be there with open arms. A parent capable of unconditional love will understand that the bad decisions they made were part of their growing process and necessary to help them find wisdom, rather a personal insult to the parent’s world view. For this parent, welcoming the “prodigal son” back home is a no-brainer, it is as natural as breathing. The bible and other Judeo-Christian texts are full of “parent child” analogies to God and self, to the point that God is commonly referred to as “father.” This analogy works to a point because it is very reflective of this relationship. We do have free will and can turn from our source. When we do, we learn lessons which then bring us back to that source, which could be seen as a parent. The downfall of the parent-child analogy of God and self is that it also can make God into an authority figure, one who punishes, when in actuality God and self are equals. The difference is that “self” has free will, but no matter how far “self” strays into the illusion of separateness, God is always waiting with open arms, and will always be there for guidance, as a quiet voice within.

-Rhea Jamil