The following story is taken from my book, The New Season: Journey Toward Enlightenment. I have presented it here in order to demonstrate the symbolism of some of the most profound ancient teachings to be found. More importantly, I hope to provide examples of how to incorporate this wisdom into one’s daily life. I hope you enjoy it:
When Jarred looked around the room what he saw should have shocked him to the core, but still there were no thoughts or emotions, only a pure awareness that he had never experienced before. Amazingly, Jarred was looking at himself sitting on a couch he had never seen, in a studio apartment in which he had never been. Then, he heard someone talking to him, only he didn’t seem to be hearing it from his own ears; rather, it seemed to be coming from nowhere, and everywhere. Who was doing the talking?
Jarred could plainly see his body sitting on the couch looking at him, but who was he looking at? As the voice continued talking, Jarred recognized that it was Isha. However, he couldn’t see Isha. He could only hear the voice talking and he knew it was him. Jarred was now hearing Isha talk to Jarred’s body, which was sitting on the strange couch in the unfamiliar room. It should have seemed strange but for some reason, everything felt perfectly normal to Jarred.
Then Jarred heard Isha, say, “It is only appropriate that on the last day of the year a concept that’s so simple yet somehow escaped you all your days has entered the consciousness. Everything the Bible talks about with regards to God’s wrath versus Its peace is internal. It is our state of mind.” Isha’s voice seemed to boom louder as he asked, “How could it be anything else? That is where our Soul dwells, between the thoughts and emotions. Our Souls are found in the gap, similar to how God, or the One as I like to refer to It, is found in the connections between things, rather than the things themselves.”
Jarred watched as the Jarred on the couch scratched his leg. Isha continued, “The Bible is not trying to reach our physical self. Why would it? The Presence is inside us and everything else. God is not just our bodies, or our minds, or the trees, or rocks or birds or anything else in the physical world. It is all of these things and more. It is the intention, or consciousness that brings the entire physical world into existence.”
Jarred saw the facial expression on the couch Jarred change as if he was gaining new insight. Isha went on, “The physical world truly is a manifestation of intention of the Universe, the intention of the creation of life. The physical world is merely God’s wake. That is why it acts only as a pointer toward the One and cannot, by itself, show us the Presence in us all.”
Then Jarred watched as the Jarred on the couch scratched his head and asked, “Isha, if that’s true then how does what we do in the physical world influence our spiritual world in eternity?”
Isha responded, “Our Authentic Self does have the potential of getting lost. Those who become so taken by the physical world that they lose sight of the spiritual connection between the things have no chance of regaining that sight before they die. Unless of course, some life-changing event occurs that’s powerful enough to shake them out of thought for a sufficient amount of time to remember the Authentic Self.” Jarred saw the couch Jarred nod in agreement. “But in the absence of that, the individual cannot sense the Presence of the One and no longer knows of the love and absolute peace of heaven. It is as if the Soul is a drop of water that becomes separated from the ocean and cannot remember its place of origin. But its origin is the Sea of Infinity, and the individual feels a strong pull to return to the place of origin. ‘Hell’ and ‘damnation’ then, are banishment from eternal peace and love. In other words, missing out on the sense of eternal love is what is referred to as hell.”
Jarred watched as the couch Jarred placed his hands on his chin, listening intently. Isha went on, “Of course, we have no way of understanding this with our physical self, our minds and our bodies. One listens to our spiritual leaders with the mind. One starts listening from a perspective of what is labeled as logic and reason.” Jarred felt a surge of adrenalin but it felt disconnected from the body he was observing on the couch. Where was it coming from?
He listened as Isha proceeded, “Then, our bodies react to this information through our emotions in a way that we have come to label as good or bad. However, this logic works from a structural standpoint only. There is no form to our spiritual self and logic alone is not enough to understand the nature of God. By attempting to come only from the place of logic and reason, the writings in the Bible become much less discernible.”
Then Jarred watched as the couch Jarred reached down and picked up a cup of tea, took a sip, and set it back down. He then heard the couch Jarred say, “It has been very difficult for me to fathom how God can be a God of love but then condemn people to an eternity of torture for committing sins on earth.”
Jarred heard Isha’s voice answer, “Yes, but we must remember that to ‘sin’ means simply to miss the mark. All that means is that we are turning our attention to the wrong part of the target. Instead of seeing connection we see only separation. The energy that unites everything in the Universe is the energy of attraction, typically referred to as love.”
Now Jarred was feeling a sense of compassion as he listened to Isha’s voice. Was he feeling compassionate for himself? Isha continued, “It must be remembered that the Universe IS love. Those of us who don’t come to realize this are doomed to be lost forever, or at least for this lifetime. Being lost forever is being lost in ego for a lifetime, thereby condemning ourselves to ‘hell,’ and it’s this hell that’s so often referred to in the ancient literature.” Isha’s voice quieted as he clarified, “It is hell because of what we will miss out on. Therefore, it’s not God who condemns us to hell. We ourselves do that by keeping our awareness focused on the world and all its happenings rather than center our attention on the Omnipotent One.”
Then Jarred watched as the Jarred on the couch took another drink of tea. Isha’s voice seemed to slow down and become more articulate as he said, “Oneness is a symbolic representation of living a spiritual existence, whereas, separation is a symbolic representation of living a physical existence. In reality, there is only one existence. We are either centering our attention on the totality of life and noticing the Universal connection to it all, or we center our attention on the things of this world and notice the separation.”
The Jarred on the couch went to set the tea back on the table and it almost missed the mark as he refused to take his eyes off Isha. “All one must do, then, is to try both and see which he or she prefers. For example, one might go for a week and intentionally notice the differences in people, places and things. One could even keep a journal and record all those differences as well as write about how one is feeling that day.” Jarred heard Isha clear his throat before going on, “Then, for the next week, one could intentionally look for and notice the similarities and the connections in these same things. Again, one could journal daily on all these connections and record how one feels during the day. In this way, one could experience it for oneself rather than take another’s word for it.
“You once told me that you were writing about what it means to be separate from the One, and when you turned your eyes toward the pages on the Bible you saw the words, ‘Separated from God.’ This is a great example of looking for and finding the connections in life. Some would say this is merely a coincidence. However, the same could be said about NOT noticing this connection.” Jarred saw himself nod in agreement. “For everything in existence that can be seen as separate, there is something connecting it to the whole. There are as many connections as there are things. Actually, there appear to be more connections than things because these ‘things’ are connected to many other things. If we were to step back and zoom out, we see that there is only One thing.”
Jarred then heard himself ask, “What do you mean?”
Isha responded, “For example, when we see a person we only see one thing. However, this person is made up of trillions of cells. In addition, there are innumerable numbers of microorganisms on that person and yet, as we zoom out, we only see the one human.” Jarred saw the couch Jarred’s facial expression change as if he were trying to grasp a new idea.
Isha continued, “In reality, each human being is a walking, talking planet of life. Further, when we zoom out far enough from a large group of people we only see one group, rather than the individuals who comprise it. If we zoom out even farther, soon all we can see is one earth. We don’t see all of the living organisms on the planet, just the one world. The same could be said about the galaxy and the solar system.” Then Isha’s voice thundered as he exclaimed, “Everything is connected!
“Interestingly, you said that after reading the section in the Bible that drew your eyes toward it, you noticed the final words were, ‘Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.’ The section was describing why to avoid separation. So many of the words and descriptions of how we should and should not act are spoken to the physical self because so many can only relate in this way.” Again the Jarred on the couch nodded in agreement. “When one heeds this advice, the spiritual world then opens up and reveals Itself. If it doesn’t, then it’s because the body is following through with the direction of the mind rather than the heart.
“When following the discourse of the mind, tasks are performed like a mindless drone and even faithful service cannot save the Soul.” Jarred felt like he could feel the rhythm of Isha’s voice as he went on, “Faith and service must come from the heart or Soul rather than the mind. If we perform service for others in the name of God because it’s our ‘duty,’ then we will be coming from the place of the ego and that will not bring us closer to the One; rather, it will move us farther away toward greater separation.
“This is why it is often taught that we do not enter heaven by deeds alone. We must be coming from the Authentic Self and perform acts out of love and kindness rather than duty. Only in this way can one be the Presence, not through the acts themselves, but through the love sent while performing the act.” Isha’s voice seemed to be speaking out of pity as he explained, “It is also why one can commit evil acts throughout his physical existence, recognize the error of his ways, repent, and then enter heaven, as did the criminal who died on the cross with Jesus and accepted God in his heart moments before death. His Soul was saved as Jesus assured him that he would receive treasures in heaven. This is why it can happen all the way up until the time of one’s physical death. The purpose of each of us, then, is to discover and truly know the One before the Soul is separated from the body.”
Suddenly everything started to fade. Jarred could see his body getting smaller and smaller as everything else disappeared around it, first the apartment, then the couch, then Jarred himself. Everything went black. When Jarred came to he was laying on his back looking up at the ceiling in his bedroom. He sat up quickly and thought, what just happened? Was that a dream?
Jarred had never experienced a dream so real. He could see, hear, and feel everything as if it were actually happening yet he had no body. He could even remember smelling the tea brewing on the stove! Jarred thought, I have got to get more sleep! Suddenly the mind went quiet and he could once again feel the profound sense of peace and tranquility he experienced while in the dream. Jarred felt a strong desire to write in his journal so, as he had done so often before, he got out his notebook and began writing. He wrote:
The Sea of Infinity
I feel as though I am tiptoeing around the circle of infinity. What will it take to make me jump inside? I hesitate only because of the unknown. Where will it take me? What will happen to me when I come out? Will I come out at all? When the answer to these questions cease to matter, that is when I will dive, head first, into the Sea of Infinity.
Jarred thought, perhaps it is time I get out of my head and into life. I guess the only thing to do is to jump right in.