If we ask to know ourselves, our lovability and the beauty of our true spirit, we shall have it. That is salvation. And Christ made that possible. As he said, he is the way, he is the truth, and he is life. After what he did, it was no longer futile to try. God understands what makes us tick, so he has already forgiven us for all the shameful stuff we do. He knows we have to go through our sins so we can recognize them and choose a different way.
Part and parcel of this whole big drama is duality: the reality of opposites, where everything splits into either/or. As such, it’s hard for us to grasp the fact that the personal aspect of salvation—this notion that Jesus is here to help us—has three paradoxical aspects:
1) We are responsible for our own salvation. We are the only ones who can do this.
2) We can’t possibly do this alone. We need the help of others who share this journey with us and who can often see in us what we do not see.
3) Without God and the help of the personal aspect of God, which is Jesus Christ, this undertaking is just too vast for us to accomplish.
So yes, our salvation is our own choice. Going through this requires our intent, our self-responsibility, our will and our effort. What’s more, it often seems like it requires a sacrifice. We have to give up our time and energy to work on ourselves. Add to this that it seems like a whopper of a sacrifice to shed a Lower-Self habit and give up some decadent Lower-Self gratification, at least for a while, so that higher pleasures can take root. No one, not even God, can make you do this if you don’t want to. Because that would go counter to all spiritual laws whose author is, after all, God.
But then here we often are, mired in our misperceptions, too involved and blind to see our own part. We need the mirror that others can offer. We need to be open to looking into these mirrors. We have to give up our pretenses and defenses, and become willing to show ourselves as we are. That requires vulnerability and total inner truth. We need to learn to receive—even if this makes us feel weak at first—because only then can we give of ourselves. We can give many things before this, but we can’t actually give of ourselves until we learn to receive.
Working with others fulfills a law called the Law of Brotherhood—or to be gender neutral, perhaps the Law of Us-and-Otherhood. We can’t get all the way to the top of the mountain all by ourselves, by going the way of seclusion and separateness. People who do so have their own rationales, but deep down, they never want to expose themselves to others. So whatever success they achieve, it is, at best, only a half-measure and it cannot last. It’s just not grounded in spiritual or practical reality.
Lastly, we can use our positive aggression on outer aspects, dedicating ourselves to our spiritual path, deciding daily to face the truth in difficult or confusing situations. We can fulfill the Law of Brotherhood and overcome our resistance to revealing ourselves as we truly are.
But then there comes a point when our emotions, reactions and even beliefs don’t respond to our will for them to change. So then we constantly need higher powers to help us find the way, working deeper than the levels we can control with our mind alone. This teaches us the wisdom of finding the line between mastering ourselves and surrendering to the Great Master, without whom nothing can be accomplished.
This is the perspective we need to hold to open new doors—to make the possibility of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ a reality. Once we feel held in his arms, rocked in the comfort that only Jesus can give, we will never doubt again. Although certainly we may lose this feeling and then need to recapture it again and again. Until at last, our whole consciousness will become filled with the Christ within.
We can listen deeply and sense the reality of this blessing. When we work to know Jesus, we are working for our own cause. What a worthy cause. Christ and his angels are here with us right now. What a friend we have in Jesus.
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