Dr Sir John Whitman Ray Anniversary Message
Hello friends, in each of the 15 years since Dr Sir John Whitman Ray, founder of Body Electronics, died I have posted an anniversary note to reflect on his teachings. He didn't have much in the way of desire for glory but he did have a strong desire to help others see the Light, or more particularly, be released from their own self-constraints regarding the Light.
This year I explore the extent to which we delude ourselves as to where we are on our spiritual path. The goal is self-emancipation, or at least to say as much self effort towards that emancipation as we can muster, given that our ultimate salvation comes through the Light from without us. Therefore, having a realistic view on where we are, where we’ve come from, and where we're going is quite a useful thing.
Unfortunately, it would seem that we, as human beings, are habitually delusional, continually choosing to see things as we would have them be, as opposed to how they actually are. Where the choices originate from, our ability to remember making them, and the comparative clarity we had at that time are entirely another matter and the object of much of what we do in Body Electronics. However, today I want to take this conversation away from the pointholding table as much as possible and instead focus on our daily lives, where all the action really is because we need a little reality to ground us.
Irrespective of our spiritual path and whatever calling or activity in life we answer, the inescapable fact remains that we are embodied here, right now, with absolutely everything we need in front of us at this very second in order to make spiritual progress. We don’t need to be “on the table”, we don’t need to wait for some “cosmic opportunity” to come along – what we need is already right here. Yes, there are some things we just don’t seem to be able to deal with any other way, but for the most part, our opportunity is right now.
Our confusion is pervasive – the only thing that matters is right now and what we do in this moment, for this determines our future. Our confusion can be supported by our intense focus in Body Electronics on seeking specific memory. This is a necessary skill to develop but we can easily lose sight of the reason that we look into our past which is not to be in it for its own sake, but to find our moments of choice, to re-experience the suppression of emotionality, because we are too fixated on the past and our apparent “mistakes” to do it any other way.
We have never been abandoned by the Light, although we have abandoned it; we have never been unforgiven by God, only we do not forgive ourselves. We have the gall to blame a great many things on our past, as we cast ourselves fully into the victim role, when the truth is that we were created to be Perfect and thus ever as entitled to it and capable of realising it as we ever were, except for our refusal to do so.
Are our answers in the past? Yes and no. Our answers are always here right now and when we look into the past for specific memory, it is not a memory of the past as such, but the experience of the NOW as it was at that time (and incidentally still is).
In part, then, we look at past events because we are fixated on them, but actually, the creative energy behind those events still exists in us today – it’s held in place through our resistance to and suppression of the past event. It’s not the past event we need to deal with, so much as the creative energy and our resistance to releasing it – they are here now and we can choose to deal with them directly, albeit, the more fixated on the past event we are, the more likely we will have to deal with that first.
In some cases, we even seek the answers to our woes in past lives. This is all fascinating of course, but everything we need for progress is still here right now, thanks to the everpresent blessing of Karma, which assures us the opportunity of seeing any necessary error of our ways.
Deluded? Compulsively and nearly irretrievably.
It is not by misfortune that we normally have but momentary glimpses of past life experience, it is by design. At the end of each life the veil is mercifully drawn, as the physical and emotional bodies are dissolved, for in many cases we have lived spiritually depraved lives.
The central point that we have missed is that it has never been about our physical works, for the entire physical universe is illusory, a cosmic flight simulator, if you will. What matters is our commitment to the Light, not this or that outer achievement or the accumulation of any physical thing or power. True power lies not in accumulated energy for us to control, for all energy and its manipulation are phenomena that distract us and lure us into identification with the world we are intended to transcend.
How Good Are We?
Similarly, regarding our assessment of our spiritual progress, it is too easy to be seduced by pride in our outer works – what a wonderful diet we have, what a wonderful lifestyle we lead, what great and constructive works we have performed… Each of these acts of Pride, as one of the Cardinal Sins, has elevated us upon a pedestal, from which our fall can only become greater and greater.
We have "The List" and instruction from Dr Ray to put order into our lives by bringing cycles of creation into completion, by making amends where these are due, making relationships right, and by engaging in constructive outer action. There is on one hand the Godly recognition of Perfection in, “It is good,” rather than pride, while on the other, the mistaken assumption that our acts and their outcomes are the thing – they are not. It is not about being at A or B, achieving X, Y, or Z or even proving we can apply some principle, for all of these things are fictions.
The world as we know it is Maya (illusion). However our acceptance of it as “reality” makes it so and as binding as if it were. In other words, this “simulator” we live in is by definition one of delusion and illusion. What we see around us, the results of our actions upon the world, the laws of physics, cause and effect are all a seductive distraction.
We have been fooled into seeking outer means to enact our desires – “If I work at this, then I will get that.” It has been fairly plainly stated that all energy is God energy, that Faith moves mountains, that, “I AM your Alpha and Omega,” yet we continue to place our Faith in outer things.
I get why we’ve done it and continue to, because our moments of clarity are rare and for the most part we “see through a glass darkly,” but this applies to our self-view also, for we will tend to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt by pointing to how justified we are in acting a certain way. “I did it because of so-and-so,” “I had to say it,” etc.
I do believe we will eventually look back on our current state of darkness with a chuckle, rather than a frown, once we are more fully aware of all that is transpiring around us. This is not a doom and gloom story – we will get there in the end.
The Price of Progress
Progress can be its own trap though – “And the silver lining of this story is where,” you may ask? When we look back on our diet or behaviours of a few years ago, do we ever “high-five” ourselves for our progress? We see that we were comparatively ignorant but now we really see, while failing to consider that three more years from now we may look back upon today with even greater insight. Rather, everything we learn should be cause for ever-greater humility, for the more we “know,” the more we should consider whether the depth of our ignorance has yet been plumbed.
It's just that it's kind of rewarding, that sense of progress, the realisation of comparative enlightenment, “Oh, now I see.” Again this invites Pride or can lead us to rest upon our laurels, all the time not observing our overall state of depravity, the part we don’t see yet. If we have turned our back on the Light and refused to fulfil one of our basic instructions, to “Be Ye Perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is Perfect,” we can safely call our physical existence comparatively depraved. In giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt our bar has been set rather too low.
Have we been deluded about where we’re at? I think so, but let’s not feel bad about it, be happy that we can begin to see it for what it is.
I recall John describing his mission on earth “to be dealing with the slime of the sewer – that's us folks.” These are not exactly the words I had on the tip of my tongue for my inspiration, but I take the point, we are not always where we think we are.
Yet, let's not get into questioning our Faith, us slimeballs, because this certainly does not help things. It does nonetheless reinforce why many of our actions and motivations should be kept as private: “Great things are done in secret.” Partly this is to help keep pride in our works and any perception of the greatness of what we’re engaged in out of the picture, avoiding any unnecessarily public falls, and partly because inevitably we are acting on partial information, so will get a few things wrong. We don't want that devil of pride preventing us from backing down when we've got egg on our face or making us come out swinging when we should just gracefully accept defeat and try to glean what we can from the moment.
Suckers we are! The outcome wasn't the point anyway, but sure enough we got sucker punched when we bought into the outer.
So instead of, “I can't be seen to be wrong,” we need to look more deeply at our faith in, “I know exactly what to do,” while keeping an open mind that we may have overlooked a little something. Typically, in fact, we've overlooked most things that were true in favour of the one piece we chose to seize upon and make out to be everything, but nonetheless, this is the principle.
Maybe just a little bit deluded?
Sometimes that feeling of having been deceived is quite relieving, as if we had been tricked by some sneaky devil or other and therefore failure is not our fault or else good enough reason to give up on some course of action.
Here’s the thing, we do need to be anxiously engaged in good works but not because of any absolute or objective actual “good” that may be achieved, since all such good in the outer world is a moot point, given that good and bad are dualistic concepts heavily rooted in the material world, rather than the spiritual world. The material world is illusory, remember, so when we feel like we’re doing good because of some outcome, we are in that moment deluded. Our effort to progress, to be Perfect, to be Godly for its own sake – not the outcome, or the recognition – the attitude or spirit with which we have dealt with others is the thing.
A Choice of Paths
- We can choose the path of darkness, or
- we can choose the path of Light.
But there is also a third, imposter, path we need to be acutely aware of, since paths 1 and 2 look well defined. This is the path of withholding one's own Light. We may say, “I didn't choose the path of darkness,” but if we aren't actively on the path of Light, shining our Light, then by default we’re slipping into, creating, accepting, perpetuating, darkness.
One illustration given to us by Christ is the Law of Forgiveness, as demonstrated by “turning the other cheek.” There is a path 1 way of dealing with this, a path 2 way and a path 3 way.
On path 1, we don't turn the other cheek and instead fight back, as we could be justified in our mind to do by having been struck first, or unfairly. Fighting fire with fire falls into this category, wherein we desire the irony of beating them at their own game so we fight because we perceive a possibility of winning (a.k.a. creating a loser) – we feel a sense of strength, potential victory, ability to vanquish an enemy, to overcome, destroy, take revenge, protect others, etc – all part of the pathway of darkness. As an aside, this theme is one of Hollywood's favourites – how they sell that love to see the bad guy get his just desserts if not more…
Path 2 is where we not only turn the other cheek but offer it to our would-be victim-maker. This is a keyword because simply ignoring it or walking away could be non-confrontational and may even be forgiving but not necessarily an Act of Light – it’s actually a path 3 act. We can walk away because we discern how we might thus avoid the same thing happening again, even though we may have therefore projected our justified mistrust in the other person and we are pre-supposing that harm to our body is a bad thing. I know this sounds challenging, but bear with me.
Getting up, dusting oneself off, standing to face the other guy and impartially offering the other cheek (not in defiance, but in non-resistance) is the Act of Light, the demonstration of Faith and non-judgement.
Might we get slapped in the face again? Sure. But remember, it's not about whether our physical face gets slapped or not; that's Maya world thinking. It's about whether we can be graceful, unconditionally forgiving and act in the spirit of innocence and without recriminations or judgement against the aggressor.
Not shining our Light is just a subtle form of choosing the path of darkness by not explicitly choosing the path of Light. Here we are being deluded again – “Sensibly (judgement), I didn't really want (resistance) my lovely face (Maya) being punched in again (by that evildoer I have just condemned in thought).”
Thinking the worst of someone is clearly a dark thought, but not choosing to think the best of them (after all, weren't they created to be Perfect too?) is also a dark (if more subtle) thought. Only choosing to think the best of them is an Act of Light. Who knows, we may get punched out (since the other person has their choice for darkness if they wish) or the shining of our Light may help them see their own or at least desire it.
If we are not continually, or frequently, in the space of actively giving others the benefit of the doubt or shining our own Light, while thinking highly of ourselves, then we are deceiving ourselves as to where we’re at. Can we trust a bully to be a bully as a matter of discernment because we can see their track record and habit patterns, all judgement aside? Sure. But my question is what are we going to do about it? Stand up and fight, not resist it and walk away, or forgive and shine the Light? This is not about pacifism; there will be times to fight.
This is also not about dualistic right and wrong, good or bad, it's about the fact that we have a choice. I just can't help noticing that Christ had plenty of chances just to walk away and bless someone from afar – presumably He could have issued a plague of locusts too – but that wasn't His game. He was a “total immersion” kind of guy. He blessed the harlots because at least they weren’t hypocrits.
Must we all behave the same way? Maybe, maybe not. We probably do not yet find ourselves at His level and yet He did point out that He had the same weaknesses of the flesh as the rest of us. We can at least be cognisant of the examples and get on with at least some “baby steps” in this regard. Let's just not kid ourselves that we’re anywhere but reaching up for the bottom rung of the ladder. We have a long way to go and yet “distance” is illusory, since everything we need is right here with us all the time and it is not the “extent” of our good acts that matters, but that they are good.
We have been promised that we can be transformed in the twinkling of an eye, I don't think by gargantuan effort, so much as genuine effort. The “hour has been at hand” for quite some time, so just latch onto those correct principles as best you understand them, keep an open mind, and don't get hung up on whether you have been “good enough.” We already are good enough and this is our ultimate delusion – not that we think we are more advanced than we are, but that we accept and act out our imperfection even though we are already Perfect.
My advice? From my own delusional perspective (full disclosure) just don't look so surprised when it happens – you've either got egg or Angel dust on your face – embrace either outcome with equanimity and unreservedly learn from it. Can't help hoping it’s Angel dust, but well acquainted with taste of egg. Oh well, that's humanity for you…
Thanks John, another great tightrope walk through correct principle.
In Love, Light, and Perfection,
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