Part 1 of a series of posts about spiritual awakening.
I was profoundly affected by the Seth books written by Jane Roberts when I was in my twenties. Seth was the first one to teach me that we are immortal spirits having physical experiences, not physical bodies having spiritual experiences. He explained that we got here by choosing to be here, choosing to incarnate into physical bodies. He taught me that we are all the creators of our own reality. This was such a staggering idea for me at the time because I felt so powerless in my life. It seemed crazy, and it made me feel a dragging sense of responsibility for things that felt completely out of my control. At that time, I could identify myself only through my ego, and my ego believed God was separate from me. And if God were the Creator of everything and He was “out there,” how could I also be a creator?
In those days, I didn’t have a clear sense of myself as a divine spirit, even though I’d had communication from spirits, so I knew they existed. Within my own personal experience, I had an awareness of something that most people called “God,” so I felt He must exist somewhere. But I didn’t understand all the teachings and trappings that surrounded that word and felt rather alienated from it at times. At various points in my life, I'd experienced moments of clear direction and loving guidance from something within me that felt different from myself and concluded that a higher intelligence existed within the universe that could communicate directly with me. But I still thought of this something as being completely separate from me. Eventually, however, I began to wonder why my experiences of God were internal rather than external. If He was 'out there' and separate from me, why did I experience God internally?
The idea of being separate from God is a misconception. We believe we are separate because we have forgotten our unity with Him. The mad idea that the Son of God could exist in a state that is separate from His Father arose in the mind of the Son, and He chose to believe it. In that moment, the memory of unity was forgotten, perception was born, and the experience of separation replaced the knowledge of oneness. The separate identity we made to replace our true identity as the Son of God generates and maintains the illusion of separation. However, since we truly believe our self-concept is real, we’re not readily willing to give up our illusion.
²Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. ³In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects. (ACIM, T-27.VIII.6:2-3)
Consider this example: If you suffer amnesia and forget your family, it doesn't mean they cease to exist or that you're no longer part of the family. Your mother is still your mother, she knows she gave birth to you, and your family still recognizes you as a member. Your lack of memory doesn't change these facts. However, you won't remember these truths if you're not open to them.
Everything that exists is within the Mind of God, which is unified, consistent, and unchanging. If it does not abide within the Mind of God it does not exist. Therefore, our true relationship with God is oneness and sameness. Because the Son abides within His Father, He shares and extends His Father’s characteristics of life, love, and light. Thoughts within the Son’s mind that are shared by His Father are created. Any thought that is not also in God's Mind is non-existent and therefore merely an illusion. The dreaming aspect of the mind does not impact God's consciousness or His awareness of His Son, nor does it affect the Son's awareness and love for His Father. It only influences and clouds the part of the Son's mind that is engrossed in the illusion.
Seth teaches in his books that it was like this for God. Simply put, before the Creation, God existed absolutely (without beginning or end.) He had an idea He willed to express, which we call the Creation. The inherent forces of will, love, and intelligence within God emerged as He expressed His idea revealing Himself eternally as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God’s will (life) catalyzed the expression of Himself experientially through His Son (consciousness) and is held in perpetual divine order through the Holy Spirit (active intelligence.) The activated forces of will, love, and intelligence extended out like light from the sun. This light, love, and order gave rise to universes all containing the same creative forces and inherent goodwill to experience and express the love of God.
In this way, everything in the Creation is an extension of God and remains a part of God, imbued with the same creative forces of will, love, and active intelligence. Every spark of life has within itself the divine potential and inherent will to extend and share the experience of God. Nothing real in all the universes exists in a state of separation from God. (When you think about it, where exactly could something separate possibly exist? Only in our imagination!)
A Son of God is the expression of Father in some form of conscious and qualitative manifestation. Thus, every Son or Divine Spark in the Creation is an extension of God and contains the exact same forces inherent in God. These differentiated expressions create individualized points of view, but all points of view are simultaneously experienced within the collective cosmic consciousness of God.
The Seth teachings refer to this phenomenon as “Separateness Within Unity.” I prefer to use the term differentiation within unity and avoid the word separation altogether. On the macro-level, we are all One—and that oneness is God. And, God is experiencing everything wholly and simultaneously. On the micro-level, we are individual spirit-personalities experiencing our point of view in conjunction with everyone else. The experiential aspect of God expands and evolves as a result of this cocreative experience.
In this way, God experiences His creativity through what He creates. Because we are made of the same stuff as our Father, we also experience ourselves as creative entities, and we learn and grow through our creative experiences. Creation is not, however, the fantastical illusions manufactured in the ego-mindset humanity has come to believe is real. The ego is not the Son of God but rather a self-concept or false idea that has temporarily replaced the awareness the Son's true identity in his own mind. We'll get into this more later when we take a look at the rise of the ego in our minds. Let us continue now with our exploration of God and our relationship in Him.
Hinduism teaches us that this process of exploding into creative activity is cyclical and evolutionary. When God is active, He is manifesting or expressing Himself objectively. When He is passive, He is objectively unrevealed and expressing Himself subjectively. But either way He remains real, living, and present.
Objectively, we see evidence of this cyclical creative activity on the cosmic physical plane of the universe we live in. New stars are born, and old stars die out. Whole solar systems come into existence and then fade away. Various levels and sectors of the Grand Universe are in various stages of activity or dormancy. From a human perspective, these alternating cosmic periods last for an extraordinarily long time—literally trillions of years and more. But there is a rhythm to them. Active manifestation ends when the creative mandate for that part of the creation has been fulfilled. And this is true for all manifested forms from bodies to desires to ideas. All forms must dematerialize when their purpose has been served or else creativity would become fixed, crystalized, and cease to be.
The reason I find it helpful to ponder this idea of a cyclic nature to God’s creativity is that it is consistent with our own experience. We, too, move into objective forms, and we move out. Understanding that we exist either way is essential to opening up our conscious awareness of who we really are and what we're doing here. Until we do this, we're unable to resolve our fearful view of life and restore our awareness of our relationship with God and one another.
There is one God and each extension of God exists as a divine spark or light-beam within this Oneness. Because we all derive our “beingness” from the same Source, we experience at-one-ment at the unity level of consciousness. Each divine spark, or Son of God, is imbued with the same creative purpose and ability as the Father who created him. For what else could be in the Son that is not of the Father when the Father is All-That-Is? And each spark wills to express his divine life, love, and intelligence in concert with the whole adding to the extension of the Creation throughout the grand universe.
In the material universe, this involves a process of differentiation during our descent into material form and a process of integration during our ascent out of form. We have been given everything we need to create and the free will to do it. We start out, then, as unlimited, formless divine life without a definite sense of individuality, and we slowly begin to differentiate as we descend into denser levels of material substance—matter being the spiritual energy of the universe. As Spirit, we clothe ourselves in various grades of matter to create forms through which we can express creatively. For now, I will skip the earliest ages of material creativity on our world, which encompass an epic journey through the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms, and continue our discussion at the point where we as Spirit individuate in the human kingdom. Once this individuation process occurs, we
Become “self” conscious—aware of ourselves as thinking, feeling, creative beings;
Learn about our creativity through the process of activating, developing, and eventually mastering the three primary creative forces inherent to us—intelligence, love, and goodwill—and
Develop and improve the inherent qualities of the substance we work with to better reflect our divine nature in objective, material form.
Certain grades of matter provide the fundamental building blocks we use to create forms in the physical levels of the universe. As creative expressions of God, we—the indwelling formless spirit—remain immaterial even when we are actively revealing ourselves through the forms we’ve created. It’s important to distinguish between spirit, consciousness, and matter. And we'll be exploring this point in more depth as we go along, because it is our confusion over this distinction that ultimately gave rise to our suffering.
So, when God becomes creatively active, He extends Himself or reveals Himself through His creations. And, the same desire to express or extend that exists within God the Father or Source exists within His creations too. This drive motivates the Sons to seek out ways to differentiate and explore their creative potential. Within each of us is the same stuff as God, and we are here to figure out how that “God stuff” works. Each divine spark is a creative entity imbued with a personality status and operates as a unique point of view within the larger lens of Source (or All That Is). At this point, I am using the term personality to mean: the bestowal of a state of personalized existence within the Whole gifted with the latent ability to organize a collection of qualities and to act cocreatively within the Creation as a self-conscious being.
This state of being is the gift God bestows on us as His divine Son. Each son exists as a fractal of the whole. Thus, His loving, intelligent will to actively create is our innate spiritual heritage. Understanding this symbiotic relationship draws us closer to our actual identity as the Sons of God, or God in action.
The Tree of Life
The concept of the Tree of Life reveals this principle of differentiation within unity beautifully and simply and also shows us how there are various levels of consciousness within the Creation.
Imagine entering a beautiful garden full of light and love. As you enter, you become aware of the Presence that dwells in the garden, and you begin to fill up with a sense of returning home. As you look down, you notice you are on a path that leads to the center of the garden. Follow this path until you come to the Tree of Life—an enormous tree made of light and radiating love. This tree is the symbol of all Creation; it contains everything that exists. Sit down now at the base of the tree and rest your back against the trunk. Gaze up and notice all the many branches and countless leaves. Recognize that each of us is a leaf on the tree. Notice that the tree would be incomplete without the leaves, and the leaves wouldn’t exist without the tree. Be aware that at no time are the leaves separate from the tree; in reality, they are not separate from one another because they all exist on the tree together as a whole. However, each leaf has its own place on the tree, its own unique point of view within the collective point of view of the tree as a whole.
As you look at the tree, focus now on the branches. Notice that there are large main branches coming off the trunk and smaller branches stemming off the main branches. Once again, pay attention to the leaves and notice that they stem off the smaller branches. Everything works together, but there are different parts of the tree and they each serve the whole in their own way.
In just this way, the Creation as a whole is multifaceted or multilevel. There are creations within the Creation that all serve specific roles and functions within the whole. The tree grows and forms from the trunk outward in successive phases of creativity (from our point of view). The main branches can be likened to High-Level creative beings that have the ability to create the smaller branches and the leaves that stem from them. In other words, they have creative input on how those branches form and how they work in the overall creation. At this very high level, these creative entities are all working cocreatively with one another and within the larger point of the view of the Creator as a whole. There is no delusion of a separation from the Creator or from the whole at that level, and yet there is autonomy. As the branches get smaller, the individuation process intensifies and narrows, yet all remains connected to the whole.
There is a hierarchy of creativity within the Creation. There are beings, or creative personalities, that exist in states of consciousness far greater (or broader, or more universal) than the consciousness we are familiar with in our daily lives as incarnated beings. In our example, the leaves encompass distinctly smaller, more differentiated points of view than the branches, and the branches have a relatively smaller point of view than the tree as a whole.
The point of all this is that at the incarnational level of existence, we have a relatively small and individuated point of view of ourselves and one another. At the same time, in cosmic reality, each of us simultaneously has access to a much larger point of view at all times. Thus, it is only a matter of focus. What are you focusing on in your life? Is it the feeling of being small and separate from everyone else, or is it the bigger picture of God-within-you and how you fit into the larger scheme of things?
The movement from at-one-ment (at the tree level of reality) to individuation (at the leaf level) serves an evolutionary purpose. When we first emerge in the mind of God, we are merely unlimited, untapped potential. We are mini-creators in training, and the creative process is firing up as God becomes active. We have unlimited potential, but it is latent. Our task is to develop our potential through actively creating in the realms of material substance. By actively building forms to express through, we get feedback on the quality of our creativity. As we do this, we learn about the forces inherent within us and learn to master these forces over time.
In my next post, we'll take a look at the three primary aspects of God:
God the Father
God the Son
God the Holy Spirit
We'll consider how these aspects serve the unified function of God in the universe. And, how they are present within us and relevant to our daily lives.
Food for Thought
1. Sit quietly for a moment and imagine your soul patiently waiting for you to remember and attend to it. Focus your attention on this deep source of love and wisdom within you. Focus on your breathing for a few moments, and allow the body to decompress, let go, and relax. Focus on one thing that you are grateful for today, and allow that gratitude to flow through you. Open your hands in a gesture of receiving, and imagine golden light filling you up. Put your mind in a receptive state, and be willing to listen and receive. Ask for a deep experience of remembrance of who you are.
2. Can you imagine that you might actually exist even when there is no objective form of expression to define you? Can you imagine that you are pure consciousness and that you periodically use bodily forms to reveal yourself and then pass out of the form? What comes up for you when you consider this possibility?
3. Experience a guided meditation that leads you through the expanding levels of consciousness we talked about today. Universal Mind Meditation
References & Notes
 Ashley, Nancy. Create Your Own Reality, A Seth Workbook, p. 10