successfully forgive the antagonists found in our Shadows, we must
challenge many old and firmly held beliefs. Heading the list of such
beliefs is the idea that your life and how you live it is nobody’s
business. This belief is reflected in the first murder story in our
JudeoChristian history. It is one our society feels rather comfortable
with. Cain had just killed his brother Abel.When asked about his
brother’s condition, his attempted brushoff was the question,
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” The unwelcomed answer was “YES.”
ego still asks this question. At first blush the response appears to be
passably benevolent. But our soul knows that we are far more than our
brother’s keeper. In time our Hebrew forebears were given a clearer
vision of what it means to be truly human. They were called by Divine
Authority to accountability to people beyond their lone Semitic tribe.
The word of God they were given said, “The stranger shall be as one of
your family and you shall love him as yourself.” That is a major shift
in social consciousness. This call to moral accountability was not
given to the Jews alone. It was global. What was heard from the lips of
the prophets and judges of Israel in the 5th century B.C., occurred
simultaneously around the world. This phenomenon is like a giant blip
on the oscilloscope of history.
that same century the gauntlet of responsibility to act with compassion,
and forgiveness was thrown down in India by Buddha, in China by Lao Tsu,
in Greece by Socrates and in Persia by Zoroaster. The ethical question
behind their teachings was “Am I my brother’s brother?” The answer
given by each was a resounding “YES.”
Global Moral Shift
the implications of a major shift of consciousness occurring around
the world simultaneously. It implies a connectedness, a universal
networking that defies explanation. Unless. Unless those first
photographs of the earth taken on the moon held the secret. There it is,
floating in the black void of space. Its beauty is poetic. It radiates
hues of blue, wisps of white and touches of beige. There are no
boundaries, no racial profiles, no divisions. It is one world. And we
know that what makes this small planet so priceless is the spirit of
man. It is as though America’s founding fathers saw this cosmic
picture from some inner space. They inscribed their vision in the
familiar Latin motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” Out Of Many One. They
were referring to America, a microcosm of the world with representatives
of the nations of earth living as one people. We know that this grand
vision remains, for the most part, unrealized. If we are to experience
union out of many, we must ascribe to a higher principle than that we
are our brother’s brother.
Ultimate Question In Forgiveness Answered
centuries before the birth of our nation, there was the birth of the man
who raised the question of humankind’s role to its highest level. A
humble carpenter both crafted it and lived it and, as a result, he
became the most powerful and notable man in history. He formulated the
question with the claim that he was every person. He said that whenever
we helped another person for any reason we were helping him and when we
neglected or hurt anyone, we were doing these things to him also. The
question his words and actions evoked is, “Am I my brother?” The
answer, unthinkable to our optically challenged ego, is “YES!”
This answer enraged many, confused more.
the brightest star in the Socratic firmament, forewarned that such
would be the case. In his cave allegory, he described the human tragedy
in terms totally fitted to our discussion of our world of Shadows. He
said that we are like people imprisoned inside a cave, facing a back
wall, chained and unable to turn around.
Behind us at its entrance is a fire and sunlight. Between those
sources of light, objects manifesting reality (He called them the
“logos” in Greek.) freely moved causing shadows to be cast on the
back wall, the landscape of our limited perception.
we can’t see reality, only the shadows, we live under the illusion
that the shadows are substance, that they are reality. Only truth can
break our chains, said Plato. Unchained, one is free to go out of the
cave and into the light. Only then can one see reality.
Having seen reality, he warns, should one ever reenter the cave
and tell its residents what had been seen and experienced, would leave
the cave dwellers confused and enraged. The messenger, he predicted,
would be branded insane and worthy of death.
Vision Outside Our Cave
allegory does much to explain why Jesus met such resistance. Even his
followers were troubled by his vision of indivisible personhood. He
treated social misfits, drunkards, prostitutes, and hated Roman
soldiers with reverence. He gave unimagined honor to women and children.
He befriended the Samaritans whom his people despised, and he physically
and spiritually embraced the untouchable lepers. His disciples witnessed
his behavior with wonder and confusion. They had no idea what he meant
when he told them should they in any way mistreat or neglect such
people, or anyone, “you have done it unto me.”
didn’t understand that he had walked out of the cave of their
illusions. This problem plagues many who follow him today. It is
pushing the idea of spirituality too far to say that we actually are our
brother. That declaration is the most revolutionary and transforming
expression of reality ever to enter the consciousness of man. He
returned to our “cave” world as the first person to know that he was
every person; he calls us to know the same thing. No peace is possible
without this understanding. We must walk out of the cave of our
illusions. The way out is forgiveness.
my wife and I walked the Freedom Trail in Boston. One stop was Faneuil
Hall called “The Cradle of Liberty” where our nation’s first
leaders met to discuss the establishment of our nation. Inside the hall
we were led by our guide to the back wall behind the balcony. There he
pointed to the painting, “The Battle of Breed Hill” (the original
name of Bunker Hill) depicting a rather common theme with British Red
Coats assaulting Colonial troops. Then our guide showed us what is most
uncommon about it. All the soldiers, British and Colonial, have
identical faces. This artistic license conveys the mentality we must
embrace. It is a “revolutionary” picture historically and
spiritually. Understood, it has the power to motivate forgiveness and
bring inner peace.
we can redefine everyone as an expression of One Life, then forgiveness
becomes the logic behind what Jesus called the first and greatest
Commandment. When he was asked what was the greatest commandment, or the
consummate ethical principle, he ignored the Ten Commandments. He knew
that they had served a worthy purpose. Those commandments comprised the
moral playpen we needed in our spiritual infancy, but they would not
lead one to the Selfawareness he represented and called us to embrace.
When asked what is the great ethical lodestone that can lead us to our
highest and best, he answered, “Love God with all your heart, soul and
mind.” This, he affirmed, is the supreme rule of life and happiness.
He then amended it with this concurrent principle,“You are to love
your neighbor as yourself.” That is commonly believed to mean, as you
love yourself, so you ought to love your neighbor. That is a great place
to begin but that is not what he was saying. He was calling us to love
our neighbor as an expression of Our Self. If we don’t let
our ego get in the way, we would be led to see that we are
indivisibly One. The Great Shema of Israel, proclaimed every Friday
night around the world, opens, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the
Lord is One....” The
Great Commandment points us to its logical implication: because God is
One, we all are One in a transcendent Union.
As A Hologram
light that depicts this union can be
found in the hologram. Think of yourself as a living hologram.
Scientists create a “virtual hologram,” since, as we shall see
later, you and I are the actual hologram. They generate light rays
through a ruby crystal that travel in parallel streams rather than
normal dispersing rays. Then, with splitters and reflectors, they
shine one beam on photographic film. This creates what is called
interference patterns. These patterns look like the circular ripples a
rain of pebbles makes when thrown onto the calm surface of a pond. The
second beam shines on an object, projecting its image onto the same
film. When light is projected through this film, a three dimensional,
perfect facsimile of the original object appears.
is a metaphor of our condition. We can take the original holographic
film with the picture of a person on it, and cut it into hundreds of
pieces. When we shine light through any one of these pieces, a complete,
threedimensional image of the original person appears! Translated into
our human experience this suggests where we lost the awareness of our
neighbor as Ourself. First we were created, projected onto an
experiential plane in the image of God, not in the image of an erect,
evolved ape, with apologies to the ape. Then in one descendent moment of
madness, we split that Adam, if you please. The explosion split us apart
into billions of parts, and, to this day, the nuclear fallout spreads
the seeds of death everywhere.
the affirmation, “I have a body, but I am not a body.” We must rethink
our identification with the physical body. As a part of a sacred
hologram, we are a spirit in a body.
The simian body, a collection of decaying flesh and bone in a plastic bag
called “skin,” is not “the image of God.” That idea works well on
the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but that is visual poetry not reality.
Our body is but a temporary vehicle for expressing who we really are. More
correctly, we can make it such a vehicle if we abandon the illusion we
dreamed up eons ago about living fragmented separate lives, shredded tiny
pieces of a once holistic image of God.
Light In Each Holographic Part
Book of Genesis says that Adam fell into a deep sleep. It never says he
awakened! In the nightmare that took shape as we drifted in this dark
dream of separation, we took all the fragmented parts of our once unified
Self and stuffed them into billions of plastic skin bags.
Eve, the original bag lady and her bag boy Adam, depict the
pathetic result of trying to take our little piece of the whole and run
into our world of Shadows. In the darkness made by this flight from
Reality, look carefully and you can see Light shining through the most
shredded, ugly personpiece. This Light shines through them from their
Solar Source. The whole image is there, indistinct, because we insist on
seeing others as separated pieces. To see the Light, and the faded Image
it reveals, it is essential that you look beyond their “bag” behavior.
This allows us to begin to see the “parts” as one. In his soul, Jesus
brought all the pieces together. He saw all the pieces as part of himself
and saw himself as part of all the pieces. The indescribable beauty of
that one life, as he experienced union with everyone, haunts us if we are
asleep and inspires us to love and forgiveness if we are waking up.
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