What is needed and what should be the motive in our quest for the meaning to life? Is it actually truth we seek, or simply reinforcement for pre-existing beliefs that moves us? How is one to recognize truth, if and when it is revealed? The answers to these questions lie at the beginning of any search. So prepare yourself now as you embark on a magnificent journey in search of secrets and mysteries which lie beyond any previously known horizon.
As we begin to look deeply into what is real and true, one of the first things we see is that no one, no culture, no society, and no religion owns, or ever has owned, the rights toTruth. One thing we will see very clearly in the following pages is that the same Truths are repeated and have come to us many times, in many languages, and in many cultures and religions over thousands of years. And just like the laws of physics, chemistry, and mathematics, these fundamental truths apply throughout the known universe.
So, no matter what principle, parable, or verse may be quoted and read on the following pages, or from what great book or culture each comes, we will find a similar wisdom and truth revealed. These are universal, and have always been and will be the same.
" The Beatitude"
Our first question must involve the motive and mindset with which we begin this voyage in search of truth and the real mystery of life. The desire to know or discover the truth requires a serious attitude, a sincere heart and soul, and an open mind. I will refer to this as the beatitude, complete and total sincerity, to the degree that we are willing to put aside any preconceived notions or selfish agendas.
In order to completely delve into an idea, we must do so purely for righteousness sake, and we must be concerned enough to take whatever time is necessary to contemplate, question, and complete the journey. If we merely argue intellectually, in order to strengthen existing beliefs or preconceived notions, we will be void of an open mind, which is a necessity in seeking truth. Those whose minds are not open are not really seeking truth. They are simply looking for reinforcement for what they already believe. They will soon give up the search, returning to the same old mindset and the images thereof.
You see, we all approach an idea in one way or the other, either to get fuel and support for the ego, or to be led and discover a new dawn of enlightenment. What we're really talking about is freeing the mind, and that thirst for Truth which sets it free. It is only when we allow truth to expose the fallacies and misconceptions in our society, culture and lives, that further clarity, growth, and discovery takes place. It is at these moments, when we allow ourselves to be free of untruths, that the real Spirit of Truth can shine through. This is the beginning of Enlightenment, which we will now explore in depth.
We are on a step by step journey that appears few care to or ever have taken. A voyage through space and time, to when a pure Spirit once existed still and alone. We are about to learn and understand our real Universe, its connection with us and our mind, how that mind produces thought, how thought and emotion are linked together, and how emotion breeds thought, which breeds fear, which in turn keeps us from discovery, truth, and the peace and joy of being one with that same Universal Spirit, which we so deeply yearn for.
We, as human beings, are born with a free will. That is one of the more obvious things which separates us from the animals and the other living things around us. It is a moral consciousness, if you will. It is freedom to choose what we think, how we live, who we are, and who/what we become. If we did not possess such a free moral will, we would be no different from animals who are entirely subject to their environment, and absent of any sense of right/wrong or good/bad. An animal cannot, in a moral sense, do anything wrong or bad. It simply lives and reacts to the only thing it knows, the world around it.
"A farmer makes ready his land for sowing.
A carpenter makes ready his wood for building.
Likewise, the seeker of Truth must make ready his
mind for the coming of the Spirit of Enlightenment."
The Worlds of Noumena vs Phenoumena
Reality vs Perceptions
As human beings, however, we live in two worlds. To the 18th century philosopher, Immanuel Kant, it may be called the worlds of Noumena and Phenoumena. Phenoumena is perceptions, intellect, interpretations, images, or in general, things as they appear to our senses. Noumena being nature, reality, understanding, awareness, or in general terms, things as they really are in and of themselves, as they would be with or without mankind to perceive them. Phenoumena are those things which are limited by space and time, such as facts, history, culture, or any perceptions we have of the things around us. And noumena are those things unaffected by space and time, as is the Universe and the Spirit therein.
Let's now look at the way truth is established or known. From this point on in our discussion, I will refer to those things associated wtih Noumena, truth, nature, reality, conscious awareness, as the moral or spiritual realm. When I speak of the intellect, facts, perceptions, sensual needs or things, I will be referring to all those things we just defined as the realm of Phenoumena.
Forming impressions of the world and of those around us seems to be of great importance. That is the way we seem to develop our knowledge base or intellect. The culture, religion, political system, nation, and society we are born into, are the determining factors of what we believe, and how we look at and perceive life and the world around us.
The Spirit vs Intellect
As children, we learn to respond according to the sensual stimulus of that culture or world. We are rewarded or punished, receive pleasure or pain, and feel secure or insecure based on those values and pretexts. We are fully locked into a world based on those sensual perceptions, and we grow and live accordingly. Our intellect, our ego, our self identity are all based on previous knowledge or sensual perceptions that we had no choice in, from the moment we were born. Our present mind and intellect are based on past knowledge. Everything we perceive and any new impressions, ideas, or knowledge we obtain, is based on and viewed through some previously learned or conditioned mindset.
And THAT is what is called being Born in/of the World! Every person, of every nation, of every religion, and of every culture, throughout history has based "their truth", "their righteousness", "their authority", "their salvation", and their whole purpose and existence on the world of Phenoumena.
Can you see what that means? We are told and are under the impression that our intellect, our minds, are going to tell us what is true, right, moral. And likewise, told that this same old knowledge, passed on from generation to generation, from culture to culture, ad infinitum.....is going to change us and/or our world for the better. And what do we have because of it? Wars still go on, we continue to create new ideologies, and thus more and more grounds for conflict, and we still are searching for true peace, love, salvation from our miseries, and some kind of spiritual relationship to whatever we pervceive God to be.
Do we really think that through that same old reprocessed knowledge, we can discover anything truly new, touch on anything truly mystical, or transcend this world as we know it? In other words, can we ever experience Noumena, through the use of Phenoumena? Can we ever transcend "it", by using "it" to transcend? You must see and understand this question in its totality. If you can't see the truth in this, you will never let it go. For it is the truth that will set you free from it. And when you are completely free from it, you will then be free to sail into and experience the Unknown. And it's in the Unkown, where the true Mystery of Life exists and is to be discovered.
Since this is so essential to our journey, let's go over it once again, this time in a more spiritual way. In order to see reality clearly, our minds must be clear and void of the past, accumulated through time. Our minds can't be clouded by images, for images are the left over dead remnants of those past perceptions and conditioning. Images are the result of the intellect and the world of phenoumena. If you have an image of something, you are not seeing it totally as it exists in the present moment. The reality and truth of what that is, is distorted. You are seeing your image or partial memory of that thing, not the thing as it truly exists in the now or present moment.
For example, when we view a sunset, are we actually seeing the sunset? No, not if we have an image of it, or are holding on to a memory of how it looked once before. Each sunset is new, magnificent, and in its own way, different from any other. To view and see a sunset completely, our minds must be free, empty, and clear of any image of what it was, for it is never the same.
"The Truth Shall Set You Free"
Most of us view the whole world through images, just like looking through a fogged up pair of glasses. We see only what we imagine to be. Our minds are not free to see things as they truly exist in each present moment. It is like our ship is trying to sail while still tied to the dock, always limiting what we, its crew, ever see.
Real truth is what "is " in this present moment, and every present moment. And to know truth, and be able to see what "is", right now, the mind must be empty and free of that which was, that which is old, and that which no longer exists in reality, nor in truth.
To restate it one last time, because I know how subtle, yet important this principle is. Truth and reality is that which exists now in the present. Images (even of God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Saints, or whatever) are based on past ideas, facts, cultures, or knowledge, arrived at through thought, which takes time, and are in contrast to what "is" in this moment. Thus, images are never what "is", for they are formed from what was. Images cannot be reality or truth, and do not have a place in our natural world of noumena.
To discover Truth, come know God, and be blessed with that Holy Spirit, one must learn to live in the now. The great spiritual books, including the Bible, all state in one way or another, that we must die, so that we can be born again. Also stated as "...be born again of the Spirit." The Spirit exists only in the present, and to know it and experience it, we must learn to live in the present.
"Die before we die, returning to our True Being,
One with and in the Presence of the Eternal"
"Be still and know that I AM." The word Am is a form of the adverb Is, as in to be or exist, and is the Present Tense. We were born of the flesh, baptized by/born in water, and thus are of the world. But, in spiritual terms, to enjoy God's promise to us and to enter the spiritual world of God's kingdom on earth, we must be born again or baptized by the Spirit. We must live by the Spirit, and not of or by this world. Somehow we must understand what it means to live and be in the present. This is the BE-attitude, or beatitude, which means perfect blessedness or happiness. We must die to the past, and be one in the Spirit with the Eternal. "Be still and know that I am." Be Still and Know the Spirit.
In order to be still, we must give up that which we have come to know as us, our ego, and our accumulation of images and thoughts, which are fed by and which feed our emotions. Emotions are of the world. Animals live by emotions, and are subject to evolution because they react to their environment or world. They thus evolve in and from the world. Every living thing becomes what it reacts to and lives off of. If we continue to react to the world through thought and emotion, we become of the world, subject to the world, and fall prey spiritually to the evolutionary process. That is our continuing psychological fall from Grace. That is, was, and continues to be our Original Sin. Keep in mind we aren't discussing physical evolution, which our human body is subject to. We are presently looking at the soul, mind, and spiritual connection of "God" to man.
If we were created in God's image, which is of course true perfection, any movement or evolving would take us away from that state of perfection. Do you see? We continue to move away from the Spiritual state in which we were created. By being subject to man's world, instead of the Spirit, we continue to move further away from God and what should be our true spiritual nature.
"Be Still and Know that I Am"
Because of this, we are no longer one with God, or of that universal Truth or Nature . And, because we no longer know and serve that Spirit, we have the need to imagine and create god or gods, in our image, to serve our needs.
We were not created to live this way. It is not our True Nature. We were not intended to be subject to or live off the world and those things we create to distract and tempt us. As long as we do, our souls will continue to feel the guilt and uncomfortableness of not being as and what we were created to be. If we are to live as intended, we must live in and from a more Pure and Holy Spirit. We must get our energy, nourishment, direction, and life source from that Spirit. When we do, we will be free from fear and guilt, and all the other thoughts and emotions which keep us enslaved to the world.
The universal "Kingdom of God" is within you. And if and when we live from that Holy Spirit, we (our consciousness) will no longer be subject to things of time or space. We will no longer be living in this world of phenoumena, but rather in a more spiritual kingdom here on this earth. It is Now! Not after death. Not after many reincarnations. It is here now waiting for every last one of us. We can, right now, live in the moment, each moment, with that universal Holy Spirit on this earth. This is our Search for Truth! This is our Spiritual Quest! This is our True Nature! One with the Universe, through the Spirit, in the Present, for all Eternity!
In the next chapter, Discover the Unknown, we will learn what is meant by this Universal Spirit Within.
"The Kingdom of God is Within You."
The Search for Truth