Maybe you have heard the voices? Maybe they have even stirred within you? The voices of consternation. The voices of complaint. The government can’t do anything right. The company I work for is full of greedy pricks who don’t treat their employees like human beings. That person who I needed to do their job for me is lazy, that’s why I didn’t get what I wanted. I knew it, this kind of thing, call it ‘Murphy’s Law’, always happens to me. Why doesn’t somebody do something about all those homeless people?

Our inner dialogue seems made of complaint. Our capacity to judge is tremendous. We evaluate anything and everything that comes into our lives, from somebody driving next to us to the cracks in the sidewalk and how they must be somebody’s responsibility. It’s true that most of us stop short at evaluating ourselves. Why should we when this world is supposed to function around us? Isn’t that how I should be seeing it? And if we do include ourselves in the inner talk it can be disastrous for us. We can pick on ourselves to the point of bringing on melancholy or depression. Our complaint can be just as destructive to ourselves. Me, me, me…

You could adopt a system, a code of going about your life. You know, an understanding of what you accept as right and wrong, the law, something that also applies to you. That’s what I did for a long time. It works marginally better, but doesn’t really stop the cycle of complaint. It’s pretty easy, it seems, to elevate yourself within such a system too. Excuses you make for yourself go straight to the internal dialogue, assuaging your guilt. Sometimes you even get to be the hero. You get to see yourself as sticking to your principles or doing right when you can’t see anybody else willing to do so. You know what conflicting thoughts caused you to make a certain decision, so it is really easy to forgive yourself, but you still can’t necessarily see the conflicting thoughts of others well enough to forgive them. The good feeling you get from sticking to your code reinforces how you think. Then when you see people transgressing it you are tempted to be doubly emboldened. It’s hard not to judge.

If you’ve been reading this blog by now you’ve heard me talk about the Holy Spirit. You may have said to yourself, ‘Yeah, he’s onto something there. It makes sense, but how dare he lead me there? “Holy Spirit” might as well be just words to me.’ I admit it. It is rather unfair to lead you to the place where you need something you can’t give yourself. The religion of the ages leads you there, and drops you off too. What are you supposed to do? Where is this “Holy Spirit”? Who is this “Holy Spirit”? Even if I know I need it/him, how am I supposed to get there?

For me it came in a small church when I was in my twenties. I was going there for a while because a friend of mine told me about it. The people there practiced this ‘speaking in tongues’ thing, but they didn’t push it on me. I knew it was biblical, but it did not occur to me to want it for myself. I had always had a great relationship with God. I had known God since I was little. I picked up the bible when small and taught myself about God between those covers. Before that I used to go about as a small child, walking about at night on my street talking to a God I knew must somehow be there, but I couldn’t see. I didn’t worship the stars, but their vastness put my mind into the place where I regarded God. I had been through that tense time when someone who grows up with God realizes they’ve never said any kind of ‘sinner’s prayer’. I stumbled upon that one for the requisite bit. It didn’t change anything about my relationship with God, but it made me feel better knowing I didn’t have some hole there. So I was at this church to go to church, to worship and lose my inability to sing amongst other voices who could sing, but to sing nonetheless. I liked the song worship a lot.

So there I was, in this small church. A group of traveling preachy people were there that particular Sunday. I thought to myself when things were about to start, This is going to be another one of those alter call Sundays, like those Sundays of doubt I had been through when I couldn’t say I had ever said a sinner’s prayer. I had no idea what was in store. I soon discovered they hadn’t come to make us feel guilty. They had come to lay hands on anyone who didn’t have the Spirit and ask us to receive Him. I felt a real desire to do this. I don’t know where it came from. It just came upon me. So they laid hands on me. Maybe what happened next can help some of you who have struggled with this.

I thought it was kind of weird that I was going to speak in tongues. I didn’t know what to say. Yeah, sure, there was an urgency to speak, we all carry that with us every day. None of us ever lacks that urgency. What it was, I think, is that the urgency suddenly had another place to go rather than the more formal thought out prayers I was used to saying. It had someplace else to go, but I still didn’t understand. I thought I was supposed to speak and the only speaking I knew of was in legible words. What seemed to be coming out of me didn’t seem like language. It was only little more than breath. It was coming out of me. It was something different. The thing is, it was small. I think I expected big. Then somebody said, “That’s it, just let it out.” I said back to them, “But these aren’t words.” They said, “Don’t worry about that. The Holy Spirit speaks all languages. You don’t know which one He will use.” That’s when I let it come out. I still remember it as noise. It was just an expression of noise to me, but it did seem to carry something from me out with it. It seemed to convey what was trapped inside me that I wanted to say to God, but that I couldn’t form the words to say. When I realized that it really came. And I let it.

When I was twelve I had this dream. I was alone somewhere and as I was alone God came to me. He came radiating love. It was such a feeling of love that it was palpable. I felt so utterly loved that I could feel the love, not just on myself, but in the interim between me and God. God was still invisible, though there were some bits of Him I could see, points like stars. He spoke to me, though I can’t remember what He said. In the end the words were not what I took away. The final image of the dream is what I took away. He showed me a pile of what looked like slag. It was sitting there on the ground next to me. It was what was left over after the experience of knowing the presence of God so close to me. It had a presence in it, a being of sorts was there. It said one thing over and over again, “me, me, me.” God was not judgmental of it. I didn’t understand what it was. God did not tell me. He simply looked at me and I inferred what He was saying. I inferred, “This is what you have to overcome.” I thought it was the devil.

For decades I thought that was what God told me to do with myself, overcome it. For decades, including well after my experience getting filled with the Spirit so that I could speak in tongues, I thought that my mission in life was to overcome the devil. That the devil was this being that came to me with the words of selfishness; me, me, me. If I both knew myself well enough to really get my desires right, that code again, and I stayed away from selfishness, using the forgiveness that the doctrines allowed me to accept for myself, when I was bad, so that I could start anew striving to be better each time, maybe I could do it.

Turns out, that’s a good recipe for just doing the same old stuff over and over again. A recipe for getting trapped in behavior patterns. And there I was in my own patterns, and developing new ones, and all I had was the notion of forgiveness to help me. That and my own desire to be better, but not the power of the Spirit that I was certain I was supposed to have. For a long time my prayer language, the speaking in tongues part, had been what I could hear and recognize as a real language. Not always the same language either, but there were definitely parts of whatever I was saying that were from languages I’d heard in my life. I didn’t know those languages, but it wasn’t gobbledegook and it wasn’t Sid Caesar like imitation of language. It flowed out of me.

But what about me becoming a better me? What about overcoming? I don’t know how old I was, forty maybe, when I finally realized I needed to use the same kind of faith I had used to receive the Spirit in order to bring about any change inside myself with the Spirit. For me that meant something like what the Apostle Paul said about faith, it being the image of what we strive for but can’t see manifestly and all that. So without having a change yet I asked God to help me try to be better and I said to Him that I believed, so that what I desired could appear. I acknowledged that I didn’t necessarily know what changes I should expect, that I was not the arbiter of what it meant to have a positive change. There were actually some things that happened. And they did come about subtly, as you would imagine. Yes, they were positive.

Lately, I’ve been into something else. Lately, something new has come to me regarding the Holy Spirit. Funny how you go a lifetime and don’t realize something that ought to pop out at you. When I started this I was learning from God this new thing, and no this new realization had not popped out then, at the beginning of this new thing, either. I’ve been using this new kind of what, I guess, you can call a meditative technique. It’s based upon the Temple, the biblical Temple. Nobody taught it to me. No preacher came along. Yes, it’s in the bible, but only when you read the thing as a unified book, allowing that the Temple is a metaphor for you. Yeah, that’s it, I am the Temple of God. You are the Temple of God too. It’s, again, funny how easy this is.

There are some other more scientific things I did to arrive at this, but there isn’t room enough right now to go into them. I did some experiments with some physical models I made, scale models of the furniture in the Temple. I viewed some videos on subtle energy. I read about chakras. I somehow knew that the concept of chakras was very close to what I was getting at with laying the temple I read about in the bible over my own body. That if God was a certain way in his temple, if he insisted upon this or that form in the construction of it, maybe those were included because they corresponded to me, to us. Not that I even started doing this because I began with the intention of laying the Temple model over myself. That even came later. I began simply by studying the Temple pieces. I had become interested in them and wanted to know more. What better way than to do some experiments, both within and without my body.

So, I did this; I took my awareness of myself, some part of my consciousness – how we can be conscious of parts of ourselves outside of our relationship with our eyes or ears, and I first placed it into my feet, then into my knees, then into my hips, then into my belly – like the liver area, then into my heart, then into where I normally perceive my consciousness to be, my eyes and ears and thoughts, then most importantly I took it and placed it above that. I considered that my eyes and ears were a kind of incense alter. The area above them corresponded to the Holy of Holies, where the Ark was in the temple. I thought about the Cherubim on the Ark as being like the two hemispheres of my brain. I placed my consciousness up there, higher up than where I was used to living in my brain, but still in my brain, between those lobes. Here I tried not to press it. I accepted I was a guest, that God was here and I was laying whatever I needed to before him, I was approaching him like the High Priest did once a year in the Temple. Guess what, after a few seconds I found myself once again in my feet. Over and over again I did it, and every time after going up I came back down into my feet. I came to understand that this is like grasping the serpent that Moses’ staff changed into by the tail in order for it to change back into a staff. It turns out that wherever you start from is where you go back to when you are done. I said I looked upon this as bringing what I needed to bring to the Ark, but, of course, that’s not how I saw it at the very first. At the first I was simply going there to see what would happen. It was later that I realized I could bring stuff there, and leave it.

If nothing else this has taught me some interesting things about how to understand myself. Here’s the rub; you can take the same sort of things you learn from this technique, once you’ve done it a few times and you can speak to the things that pop up in you. In addition to taking those things and leaving them with God you can take what you learn and speak directly to the things that pop up. Here’s what you say to them, I love you. You see, it is the lesson I was supposed to learn from the visitation of God way back when I was twelve.

The loving presence of God was so overwhelming that I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. So too does loving yourself have ultimate power to transfix what is going on inside of you. We are all messed up, every one of us. We do not come into this world whole. We may want to be whole, but sometimes that means we try and fail, over and over and over. It isn’t our selves that we overcome with, it is with the Spirit of God over us, telling us He loves us which in turn is the power that flows through us to our inner selves when we address ourselves this way. You learn to talk to God by entering into a ‘sacrifice’ of sorts at the Ark within you, but you soon learn that God is everywhere and perfectly willing to join with you as you address yourself. He loves you and His love flows to you and in turn to your inner self, when you are tempted. The more you know yourself the more you know where to direct the love. It is beneficial to know yourself and to understand yourself. When you do, though, you direct the love there. You don’t leave it at merely knowing yourself.

You are tempted because you are all messed up. Yeah, our insides are like a pile of slag. Of course they cry out, ‘me, me, me’. They are in pain. We commit the worst acts out of that twisted place that is in pain, that isn’t whole. You can do something about it, though, and it doesn’t have to involve trying so hard and failing. You simply love yourself. Your self will listen, just like my rational self couldn’t help but listen in my dream. You speak to your inner self using the power of God, the love of God, through the Holy Spirit. Your inner self can’t help but listen. Don’t be afraid that you don’t feel it rationally. There is no greater thing than love. Perfect love casts out fear.

So now it becomes obvious why the Spirit drove Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted immediately after he was baptized by John and by the Spirit that descended upon him like a dove. And the major lessons of that temptation become obvious too; don’t make food out of stones (judgment), don’t leap from the Temple (abandoning God), and don’t worship the devil (accept what is going on inside yourself without bringing the love of God to bear upon it). If you embrace judgment you choose going it alone, the way of your own sense of right and wrong, with only yourself to guide you, alienated from the Spirit that wants to help you, even though He may be in you. If you leap from the Temple you acknowledge that it is up to you, but you take your ability to connect with the megawatt source of love and sever it. If you worship the devil you do get the world because you have being messed up in common with everybody, but you don’t get yourself, it will remain a pile of slag. Only God can change that.


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