This year I’m experimenting with something a little different, in the form of producing this anniversary note in the form of a blog, allowing you to comment and ask public questions about what is written here. If the experiment works well, I will look at converting the previous writings into a similar form. I am aware that while many people are just nodding their heads and saying, “Thanks for the reminder,” others range from partly confused to completely baffled. My intention is to give people with a genuine desire to master the material a chance to do so.
The anniversary notes themselves are partly as a service to Dr Ray, who wanted very dearly for us to keep focussed on correct principle so that each of us might make our right decisions in life, knowing that we bear the ultimate responsibility for our actions and inactions. I also do it to help us all navigate these principles, because many of them are only understood superficially and therefore applied haphazardly if at all.
Ten Steps to Perfection
For example, in the Ten Steps to Perfection we firstly have Faith, Virtue and then Knowledge, which tells us that knowledge (of Law or correct principle) only comes though virtuously applying a principle that we first accept on faith, i.e. accepted at face value without yet having the experience to prove its value or veracity to us. It is only through application that we develop the knowledge or certainty that we have an actual Law at our fingertips, otherwise it’s not much more than a “good idea” that happens to appeal to us.
Attaining Knowledge unfortunately seems like the end game to many, but in and of itself it is somewhat out of context and a counterfeit for truth in some regards because we don’t yet have understanding of the knowledge. Only through continued application of the principle we’re learning about do we reach the next stage, Temperance, where we begin to appreciate the subtleties of the law, in that there are laws within laws, higher laws and lower laws. This means that as much as we know, we begin to appreciate how much we are yet to know.
There is a common pitfall to progress at this level, because we often feel pretty happy with ourselves at Knowledge and can easily stop reaching for more, being somewhat convinced that we now “Know” therefore we are done, we get our silver star, and in fact can easily fall into criticism and condemnation of others who do not yet “Know” what we know. Unfortunately, we generally fail to recognise that they may know something else that we have no idea about yet and are merely venting our own ignorance and lack of readiness to progress by being too loud mouthed about what we know.
To illustrate this, let’s say I have some car problems and difficulty making it up a hill without a running start. So, seeing a slow truck ahead of me with cars already backed up behind it, I decide to pull over and wait at the bottom of the hill to allow them to go ahead, leaving me a clear run. Meanwhile, I read some email, give it a minute and then set off, timing it to allow the truck and cars to make it up the hill.
However, half way up the hill I’m passed by a car coming down, whose driver has a big smile as if to say, “You poor bugger, if only you knew what I know – you’re about to get stuck behind a big jam.” So I’m thinking, “Well actually I do know what you know and more because I have already foreseen this and planned it to happen this way. Furthermore, I can see you have no way of knowing how I know this.”
Which one of us had knowledge? We both saw the issue, only from different perspectives and timing, wherein I had already altered my behaviour to achieve the outcome I desired from a potentially unpleasant situation. Through his supposed knowledge he assumed that I was ignorant of the impending problem and was going to be a victim of it. Bottom line, it never pays to assume that because “we know” someone else does not. Who knows, the road may have been closed ahead and I may very well have become stuck. Pride in one’s knowledge is well out of place.
Temperance, Patience and Brotherly Kindness
The next set of Steps from Knowledge into Temperance, Patience and Brotherly Kindness are about our transition from self-centred knowledge for its own sake (and our own sake) into the knowledge that higher laws exist that may encompass and overrule our knowledge (Temperance), the necessity of being Patient with others who may be playing catch up with us, while hoping that others are being patient with us, who may be far more advanced than we might guess.
Brotherly Kindness, sometimes called the Golden Rule (do unto others as you’d have them do unto you) may well be understood as granting patience and grace as we would wish it granted to us. In this phase of activity we’re learning to get along with each other, respecting our various learning curves. We are beginning to understand that each Law has its own time and place and should not be continuously applied simply because it exists. It helps to consider that even at Brotherly Kindness we’re only 6 Steps of the way towards Perfection and have a LOT yet to learn before we’ve got anything to crow about – and of course by that time crowing is long out of our consciousness.
In the next phase, as we move into Godliness, Charity and Humility, are our lessons in teaching through the example of our own life, wherein our mentorship of others puts many of our own experiences and lessons into better perspective. More specifically, Godliness is about being the administrator of law, the person who directs others, coaches and to some extent enforces principles. This is often most easily understood in a parenting situation where the parent is navigating, ever so gently, the application and learning of correct principles to one’s children. It also applies in many coaching situations. Much of the learning here is around realising the blessings of correct application and consequences of incorrect or non-application.
Charity is about Unconditional Love and Forgiveness, particularly as we observe the misapplication of Law or complete lawlessness, wherein there is often great justification for NOT loving or forgiving. I like the idea of fore-giving, giving in advance, which might be considered the ultimate forgiveness, knowing that another is wilfully or ignorantly flouting law but accepting they are on their own journey, albeit that it affects you.
Humility lies in the joy of life without attachment to winning or losing, achievements or the relative greatness of one over another. At this level there is a sense of Unity born out of seeing the equality of all life, while embracing the inequality of all life – we are all unique and in this regard not equal at all.
Ultimately, it is through this unity that we acquire the ultimate level of Diligence, where we have attained to a level of multi-dimensional appreciation for applying the Law of Right Action continuously and unerringly. This we may call true understanding or wisdom – all Law has its time, place and purpose and can be used with a great degree of precision and effect.
Here all the Ten Steps together:
- Brotherly Kindness
Now we have that a little clearer, it is only by means of introduction and warm up to refresh my own memory that I even mention them. Never tell a good story too quickly!
To do God’s work
I was struck today by the question as to what it meant to be engaged in doing God’s work. Although The List is all about constructive action and we have lots of good sayings like, “By thy good works (fruit) shall ye know them,” and we may like to think of ourselves as tools in God’s hands, being put here for a reason, etc, we may be missing an important point.
After all, I don’t expect that God actually needs us to do anything for His/Her sake – I rather suspect that’s one of the really great advantages of being God. However, “doing God’s work” for our sake might make a bit more sense. Assuming God has mastered those Ten Steps to Perfection (pretty good chance we can tick that box), He has already gone well beyond being attached to any outcomes or being victim of unintended or unforeseen circumstances. In other words, win, lose, succeed, fail are all part of one well embraced wholeness and one’s vision is seen as complete according to one’s desire before it has even been applied with will. All that is created may be uncreated with equal ease.
Nothing in this physical universe is of any consequence. At least that’s the kind of level of understanding of correct principle we’re all working on in one way or another. So nothing we do matters in terms of its physical outcomes. If God really needs a bridge built somewhere, there’s plenty of others who could be inspired to do it or maybe the bridge just won’t get built, but it’s not about the bridge. C’est la vie! Let’s get a boat instead.
However, it may matter tremendously to the individual who feels the “calling” or who hears their “inner voice” to act upon it. This is the underlying theme of the Ten Steps to Perfection, since Perfection cannot be achieved by idle thought, contemplation or meditation alone. There must be action, a test of one’s resolve in the face of resistances, demons and temptations, an earned sense of worthiness, in many cases some course correction and grit to get back up again after a fall, the application of will to see a visualised principle manifest into reality and certainty. There must be a selflessness that goes beyond meeting one’s own needs and wants. Duality must be encompassed, in other words both sides of any coin must be experienced (at least mentally, but for most us, physically as an initial doorway) before we can say we have “got it”.
“God’s work”, the calling of the inner voice, need not be monumental feats. It will at times be almost insignificant and without any apparent result if attended to. The point is that someone somewhere is administering the law to us so it behoves us to be good students in whatever apparent triviality is posed to us. The “test” may simply be obedience and willingness to put our own agenda aside; the actions we’re called to do may be utterly irrelevant.
They may also be significant, but our mistake is in measuring our need to act on our inner voice based on our assessment of “importance” or significance. As we have already seen, our confidence in our “knowledge” of such things is often inflated. But how do we propose to grow spiritually if we will not accept and have faith in our inner voice and then act virtuously on it? To refuse to listen or to refuse to act is to condemn ourselves to ignorance. In the Eastern texts this kind of ignorance is called “Avidya” and it’s a kind of spiritual ignorance that prevents enlightenment.
In The Holy Science, Sri Yukteswar (Paramahansa Yogananda’s guru) writes, “Through Ignorance (Avidya) man believes that this material creation is the only thing which substantially exists, there being nothing beyond; forgetting that this material creation is substantially nothing and is a mere play of ideas on the Eternal Spirit, the only Real Substance beyond the comprehension of the material creation. This ignorance is the source of all other troubles of man. Thus man is prevented from grasping anything beyond the material creation, identifies himself with his material body, and has a blind belief in the validity and ultimate worth of the material creation.”
The Second Book of Acts calls this ignorance one of the Seven Cardinal Sins and is essentially the awareness of the outer without an understanding of the creative process from the inner essence which brought it into being. The outer of course being the illusion that we typically buy into, while the great truth sits in plain view that every outer manifestation has an inner cause. The good works that bring about great outer effect are really of no greater consequence than good works that bring about insignificant outer effects. All that really matters is our awareness of what lies in our Inner Essence and the responsible attitude of being constructive that we put into our creative efforts, big or small.
No matter how you slice it, we are truly in a dark space when deliberately ignoring our inner voice.
A single inner voice?
Of course, we will also need to learn to distinguish between our real inner voice and any of a hundred counterfeit voices that we are immersed in. Not only will we at times resonate with the consciousness or energies of other people or environments, but we have within us no shortage of “spiritual noise” in the forms of resistance patterns, entities, implanted or programmed beliefs, compulsions and inhibitions.
We must be like the dog who hears its master coming up the drive and knows with great certainty who it is through the sound of their shoes on the path, their key in the lock, or the way the paper is thrown on the bench and can tell them instantly apart from the prowler who may also walk the same path and put a key in the lock…
Practice and training are key.
Consciousness is not the domain of humans alone, albeit that not all forms of consciousness are equally well developed. There is consciousness in all matter, animate and inanimate, reflecting the inner essence of the creative effort behind its own manifestation. Thus every blade of grass, grain of sand, molecules of air, plants, insects, animals have some form of consciousness within and all are within our capacity to receive and perceive by virtue of the hologrammic nature of this universe.
While there is something to be said for proximity, wherein it becomes easier to interact with an energy field near one’s own, the larger part is to do with stillness and receptivity, in effect being able to tune one’s own “consciousness radio” to the desired station. So much for intentionally receiving the consciousness of another but what happens when we are close to a strong station that we have not chosen to tune into? It may be that its station intrudes upon our own. This happens much more than we realise since we are bathed in a veritable sea of consciousness that is largely invisible.
Many voices, not one
People with a multitude of voices in their head are often judged insane, but it may be more accurate to say that they are unable to be adequately selective in order to focus on a single voice or distinguish their own from the choir.
When it comes to that, what is our own voice anyway? Most people with much experience in Body Electronics, for example, will be well aware of the great multitude of reactive patterns that have crystallised within our bodies, which crystals are like little radio transmitters, pumping out their particular frequency of reactive junk 24/7. Frequently, what we assume to be our own voice is actually a substantially fuzzy rendition of it, blurred by hundreds and possibly thousands of programmed hangers on. As we begin to strip these away, our own internal clarity, or ability to receive our own true inner voice, becomes greater and greater.
To crudely enumerate these voices, let us consider the following seven categories of consciousness that may be perceived:
- The consciousness of our own physical body, being the Constitutional Man, and therefore all of its genetically inherited wisdom and junk. Herein the voices of our ancestors are imprinted within us. This is one reason why it can be hard to distinguish on the pointholding table between an actual past life experience that we have lived compared to genetic memory which we only vicariously experience.
- The consciousness of our Natural Man, being the sum total of all soul experience in our actual past lives/existences.
- The consciousness of entities, which are largely “guests” that happen to resonate with some aspect of our net consciousness (the amalgam of all the voices), but which bring their own baggage.
- The consciousness of any other life form, past, present or future. In the hopefully not badly quoted words of Walter Russell, “Everything that ever was still is; everything that ever will be already is.”
- The consciousness of any matter, animate or inanimate.
- The consciousness of your, or anyone else’s, Individualised Presence of God. This is the Higher Self of anyone alive or dead, although there are certain “veils” intended to screen our awareness of some of this, for our own good, I might add.
- The consciousness of the externalised God, insofar as God can be regarded as externalised, by which I mean that Presence of God which has not in some way chosen to be associated with matter. This is more what we might think of as the Incorruptible Being of God which is wholly divine through maintaining a separation from matter, whom we may pray to.
This is quite a list, which could be the subject of extensive elaboration perhaps another time, but the simple point I wish to make here is that we are naïve to think about our “inner voice” as if it was quite discrete, singular, and easy to have surety over. Suffice it to say that being “One with the Father” can involve some level of simultaneous awareness of all these voices without resistance or attachment to any, seeing as all creative and created intelligence is ultimately an Act of God, or it can mean selectively screening all but the One Voice – there will be a time and place for both.
Cultivating our ability to be selective is a meaningful step in the right direction, if this all sounds like a pretty tall order. A great place to start, and a major focus in Body Electronics and Visualisation and Consciousness work, is clearing out the grossest dross, which is generally physical body cleansing, and dealing with our emotional resistances that obscure our mental resistance that, in turn, underpin our state of Beingness.
In simple terms, when we can let go of our trauma-related resistances we begin to see the causal or creative aspect of our being. It’s like cleaning our windows so we can see more clearly what actually is going on around us – the more streak-free we can get that job done, the more transparent and undistorted the view. Take it from me, they don’t always come clean the first time, so don’t feel something’s going wrong if you need to clean the same patch a few times.
Cleaning out this reactive junk also allows us to still some of the “spiritual noise” I referred to earlier, giving us greater capacity for stillness or inner peace, meaning so much the better for picking up on more subtle vibrations.
The next issue, and probably a far more meaningful one, is being responsible for the particular vibrations or voice one chooses to tune into. The bulk of the consciousness we can receive is identified with matter and thus by definition the result of separation. Can we tune in to the voices of our ancestors or departed loved ones? Sure, but as Dr Ray pointed out on many occasions, everything we need for our spiritual progress is, by design, here in this life.
This, in fact, is the blessing of karma (which we all too often misread as some sort of curse or burden) – everything we need for our progress, all our misdeeds, mis-thoughts, mis-takes, are brought back to our awareness to deal with, albeit that we often don’t initially recognise the relevance of these karmic experiences. Actually, we’d be a whole lot better off if we weren’t continually evaluating or categorising our experience and selectively being enthusiastic about life.
Evaluation is one of our biggest traps. John described it as the ability to view two ends of a duality, alternately, but without encompassing them. Therefore one can quite easily be “hypnotised” at this point, through mental fixation or a kind of intellectual intoxication, firstly on the very existence and nature of such polar opposites, and then eventually through identifying with one end and beginning to resist the other. It’s all downhill from there of course.
The “watch out” here is that any time we find ourselves evaluating our experience rather than simply being in it and embracing it, we are playing out this old pattern and systematically being conditional, deliberately (although we may not see it this way at the time) withholding our ability to love and hence weaving our same old traps, which will later look like someone else’s fault or when we imagine we are the victim of karma.
So, aside from clearing out our junk, the next best thing we can do (and some would argue, the best) is choose the most constructive consciousness to place our attention on, which is one of the methods in many forms of prayer, meditation, affirmation or decree. I would not like to place one above the other unless we have no idea how to clear out our junk, in which case the choice is clear, because cultivating our own physical, emotional and mental purity is nothing but the perfect adjunct to any genuine spiritual practice.
Some “spiritual” practices not that constructive
I will briefly mention that some spiritual practices deliberately advocate the opposite and are wholly destructive in this regard. Without naming any names, anything that suggests you limit your purity, limit your freedom of thought, or increase your identification with corruptible matter is itself of a corrupting nature and therefore not spiritual. Truth does not come from the study of untruth. Thus, to deliberately place further obscuration between oneself and God is entirely counterproductive to clear, specific and genuine awareness of God.
Although a full knowledge of God is problematic while simultaneously rejecting or resisting the many manifestations of God, including the deeds and misdeeds of people, Unity with God does not mean partying it up with all the lower aspects of creation on the basis of them being “manifestations of God”. This is justification for acting out the desires of the flesh, which prevents us from having the clarity we require to hear the true still voice within and thus have direction in what we may consider doing God’s work, or at least work on ourselves to that same eventual end.
Neither can we cast judgements about what things are or are not “God’s work” especially when it comes to the observed actions of others – what position of absolute knowledge do we suppose we are in to make such calls? Until we are Perfected ourselves we will not be in that position and if we have the attitude of judgement we will not attain to that position. Our assumption of knowledge is our ignorance and our unwillingness to assume a position of ignorance is our inability to gain knowledge. Catch 22.
Circuitously, this brings us back to the importance of using The List to create a focal point of constructive action, karmic completion, and personal progress as a spiritual being, whatever that may mean to each of us.
If you haven’t already, I invite you to check out my book on The List, which is the most complete treatment of the subject I’m aware of anywhere. You can buy it on my website and soon those who have will be able to participate in a closed forum, which will be based on a blog on The List. The intention is for the reader to not only get the book, but bring me their questions to gain greater clarity and application.
Of course, all thanks to Dr Ray, who received the original spiritual inspiration for The List as well as the overall body of work we understand in Body Electronics.
As a reminder, I’d love to hear your comments below about this article, including questions you may have. I’ll endeavour to answer as many as I can.
In Love, Light, and Perfection,