MAN IN THE MIRROR
Have you ever taken a good long look at that man (woman) in the mirror? I used to really look deep into his eyes, a dead stare if you will, and silently say, Who are you? I have always had this feeling that I was something more than I saw in the mirror. I felt that the image I saw in the mirror was masking the truth of who I really was. I wanted to know the real me behind the disguise of this image. I wanted to know who is the energy, the life in the eyes of the one I was seeing. If we could look into a spiritual mirror at the end of our spiritual journey, we would see the face of God. We would be Christ, the image of God. As it is though, we look in the mirror and the image we see seems more like an animal than an angel.
Surely we have all noticed that we humans are very ape-like? Or is it the other way around? At any rate, this fact must be quite disconcerting for many of the zealous fundamentalists who support the theory of creation without evolution. I am not the least bit surprised that our behavior resembles that of our primate cousins. After all, our genetic makeup is nearly identical to that of the chimpanzee. Still, there are notable differences in intelligence and consciousness due to the spirit within us. It is this spirit within man that is taking him higher than the animal kingdom. Much of mankind is having trouble letting go of that animalistic nature he has used for eons. As Paul taught, this is the you that must be crucified if you hope to have the life of Christ.
COL 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Yes, the earthly nature is much like a beast of the field. He seeks food, shelter, and companionship. He seeks to feel pleasure for himself. While this image, or nature, is considered perfectly fine for the animal, it is not the image of our God. The image of our God is Christ. Christ is the goal of humanity. The Holy Spirit created this lower world so that we could know it so well that we would come to hate it. We hate it because it doesnt fit anymore. Many are seeking a new image because they just dont feel like being animals anymore. They say, Image is everything, and they are right!
MAKING AN IMAGE-
LEV 26:1 " `Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.
Our image of God keeps changing because we are coming to know ourselves better. Long ago, our image of God was nature. After all, the Holy Spirit of God gives life to all creation, so we could get a sense of God everywhere. He was the thunder, the trees, and the life of the world. In the beginning when this world was our paradise (heaven), God was in our garden, but that changed.
As our knowledge (consciousness) of this world (and self) increased, our God was no longer of this lower world, but of the higher world called heaven. As purposed, our image of God was becoming higher and a lot clearer. Our image of God has now become Christ. Jesus showed us our true image, but many couldnt accept this new man in Gods image- the Word made flesh. No instead, many are still seeing and believing a different image of who they are. This image is holding them back from their true nature, their True Self. This old image of self is that serpent of old- the ego.
We must first understand that the ego exists for a purpose. It was created in our minds because we must have an image of self as we climb the ladder of consciousness. In this world, the natural mind created the image we call ego. The ego has been useful like a tool to raise our consciousness of who we are. However, there comes the time when the ego becomes our own personal devil who must be overcome. We overcome the old self (ego) with the new self (Christ) just as the shadow is overcome with the Light!
Man is at the turning point, the lowest point. This is the lowest world and the world of shadows. The mind of man has projected the last image into the darkness. That final image is the ego. All images begin with God. The image of God is Christ. The image of Christ is man. The image of man is ego. The pattern was started and ends with God. The spirit of man has hit rock bottom you could say. We are at the turning point of consciousness.
Yes, we are now returning to God, but that ego that once helped us reach this point doesnt want us (spirit) to leave. When we break from the ego, the ego dies. Its life is completely dependent upon us. Jesus gave the devil (ego) no place in him. In other words, the ego of Jesus was dead- lifeless. Given life, the ego wants to rule over us and be our God. It will lie saying we are not from above, but are sinful creatures that should hide from God. Our self-image greatly determines our nature. If we see our self as an animal, then this is likely how we will act.
Do not blame the ego for being the devil. It is only doing its job like that of the cocoon. That protective wall may seem like the darkness of a tomb, but it is not. The caterpillar (spirit of man) hides in the cocoon (ego) only to break free and fly away as a beautiful, new creation! There is a transformation taking place, and the ego will not be needed when it is done. Believe that you are the butterfly, and in time, it will be realized.
Even in our mundane world we create in the same way as our Creator. The pattern of the universe translates into everyday life. Consider the cars we drive. They have a brain (computer), bones (frame), heart (fuel pump), lungs (cylinders), skin (metal body), feet (tires) and even a cooling system. Consider the infrastructure we use to get from here to there. Our roads are like arteries and veins throughout a body. Our vehicles carry supplies back a forth like blood cells carrying food to the body. Our telephone, Internet and cable systems act as a kind of nervous system for the world. Isnt it obvious that the whole universe works in the same way? Billions of planets spinning about billions of stars are like the electrons spinning about each atom in your body. So it seems the image of creation resonates all throughout our creations as well as Gods. This is even true in our behaviors.
PRO 19:21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
In the end, man follows his heart. This is what makes him tick. While our plans may seem like folly in the eyes of others, they are reflections of the Truth from within. They are like light passing through the stained glass of our minds. We add our own color, but it is still light. What I am speaking of are those movements- those passionately led battles for change. All of these sincere movements have their higher truth giving them life. Each one is really a kind of religion driven by the spirit of truth. That passion that comes from within is true, but the expression is more like a shadow. At times, some may see these emotionally charged activists as fanatical, but we must look past the expression and see the reason for it. Here are a few examples of social movements shadowing higher realities.
Save Mother Earth! This is the cry of the environmentalists. They couldnt be more right. The Earth is our mother and as the law says we should respect our mother and father. Conserving water, energy and natural resources is showing her respect. The water and energy of the earth are like the spirit of life that should never be taken for granted. Her resources are like the grace of God that should be used wisely and with gratitude.
GEN 9:12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you.
Animal rights activists have a finger on the pulse of the truth as well. Many of these believe that animals should be given the same rights and respect as humans. This passion is also based in truth. You see all life represents an expression of Christ- the LORD God through the Holy Spirit. After the LORD had flooded the earth, he made a covenant with ALL creatures. So it seems the LORD felt they deserved the same treatment as us. Our breath is their breath, so life is life and should always be respected.
Those poor vegetarians take a lot of abuse from meat eaters, but their decision to not eat flesh is based in truth. In the beginning, the LORD God told man that he was to eat every seed-bearing plant and fruit of the earth for food. Also we know that Gods covenant was with mankind and all creatures. There is a kindred connection between man and the creatures of the world. In many ways, we are on the same level, so it eating them would be akin to cannibalism. In a subtle way, eating flesh supports the very nature we are trying to lose. This is because the animal nature has been imprinted within the very fiber of the flesh.
It is my experience that as we mature in Christ our desire for meat will fade away. Like many behaviors and desires of the body, they are controlled and eventually extinguished by Christ. Eating meat doesnt make you a sinner or a bad person, but Christ has no appetite for flesh at any level.
It is fortunate for me that I am writing this in the year 2003 and not 1953. Either way though, the idea of communism is a good one on paper- everyone shares everything. This is the way it should be. Many have tried it including the early Christians who were much more successful than the political attempt of the former Soviet Union was. The basis of this urge for equality and sharing stems from God. Ironic that even in an atheistic climate, Gods divine nature finds a way to express itself! Love each other as our self is what our heart wants to express, and communism is just another way the human mind expresses this. Communism would work perfectly if mans mind and heart were pure.
1 COR 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"
Paul realized that each of us is part of the body of Christ. The body depends on each doing its part. Each cell in the body Christ contains the fullness of God himself. In this sense, we are all equal in Christ. This spiritual truth shines down into this world telling us each man, woman and child should also be treated equally.
As mankind has evolved we have come to realize that every one should have equal rights. Many today see this as an obvious truth, but history tells us mankind was blind to this law of love. Bigotry and prejudice were commonplace during the evolution of man and his philosophy. They are becoming less and less tolerable in our society. Of course, in Christ there is no male or female, white or black, Jew or Muslim. The push for human rights is the spirit of Christ shining through into this world of shadows.
EX 26:18 Make twenty frames for the south side of the tabernacle 19 and make forty silver bases to go under them--two bases for each frame, one under each projection. 20 For the other side, the north side of the tabernacle, make twenty frames 21 and forty silver bases--two under each frame. 22 Make six frames for the far end, that is, the west end of the tabernacle, 23 and make two frames for the corners at the far end.
God seems to like numbers especially concerning precise measurements and dimensions. Moses and Aaron were very busy craftsmen and mathematicians. All of these numbers mean something. Numbers are so relevant, in fact, that we have a whole book of the Bible called Numbers! However, man didnt invent or create mathematics, but rather we have discovered it. Mathematics is as pure as any truth medium can be in this world. It is not affected by language, by creed, by emotion nor by politics. Man has been using numbers since the dawn of time to figure out and map his world. Mathematics has certainly helped us advance our technology, but I believe there is also much to be gained from a spiritual perspective too.
EPH 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Yes, we are coming to realize that there is ONE God who is over all and IN ALL. I recall that a band once sang, One is the loneliest number that youll ever know. Could there be wisdom in these old lyrics? We read that God is One that God is all in all. Trying to realize the notion of being One may be difficult if not impossible for us.
Suppose you was all there was, then what? What could YOU do? Who would YOU do it with? What could YOU know other than your SELF? It seems apparent that if all things created came from God then before God did this, there was only God. Further, if all things are from God, then they in some way express God. However, if our God is infinite, as we understand it, then there is no end or beginning to expression. This all brings us back to that number one. Was God, in some divine way, lonely? How would God know God? Could it be that God had to lose Himself in the void to realize Himself? In some unfathomable way, this seems to be the meaning of our existence- God knowing God through His Image.
Mathematically, one is not so lonely of a number. It can divide (go into any number) and yet the result is still that number. Conversely, 1 multiplied by any number is also itself. One is the ONLY number that carries this distinction if we can call it a number. Some consider one as more of a unit or placeholder. One describes a single object. As far as we know the universe is one. In fact, the word universe means all together or turned into one. So at the end of our spiritual journey there can be only the realization of oneness with God. With pure heart we then come face to face with God and what do we see? We see our True Self. Multiply anything times 1 and you get in the end is what was there in the beginning. It is said that we are the temples of God. It is also said that God is always with us. He is the ONE of the universe- never changing and yet, silently going through all of our experiences with us. Until that moment comes, when we are face to face with God and realize we are the fullness of God. All that is left is that One who is real.
The idea of trying to quantify the growth of Gods kingdom was intriguing to me. Part of me says that such a notion is complete folly, but it seems that there is something going if we crunch the numbers. Somehow our ONE God branched out into the void like a breath creating everything from nothingness. Somehow a kingdom is established to rally the saints and bring the children of God back home. The exponential growth of Christs kingdom occurred to me one day as I looked at the numbers. Lets break it down.
Christ Jesus was the first to be born from among the dead. He then chose 12, which is 1x12. He then came to the 120, which is Christ (1) x 12 x 10. Then we read he lives in the 144,000 of Revelation represented by 1 x 12 x 120 x 100. So a kind of exponential pattern has been established by Jesus the Christ.
Christ x 12 = 12 disciples. Christ x 12 x 10 = 120 saints. Christ x 12 x 120 x 100 = 144,000 saints. Next it would be Christ (1) x 12 x 120 x 144,000 x 1000 = 207,360,000,000. Now that is a kingdom! And to think it all started with one man!
Most likely we have all heard or used Pi in our geometry classes. There is no doubt that we could probe into all geometric shapes and equations to find more of Gods mysteries. However, I am content here to look at the simple circle. As it turns out, Pi is a number man has been trying to find and cant. Pi is an irrational number approximated at 3.1416. This string of numbers never ends. Does this remind you of some One? I feel that Pi has significant spiritual meaning.
ISA 40:22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
Yes, the earth is basically a circle, but what I find more amazing about this passage is natural man is like a grasshopper! How true this is, as he consumes everything in his path. Yet, if we lose our old nature and lift our consciousness into heaven, God will then live in us. This is what creation is all about. The circle shape is seen in all of creation. The circle is really the shadow of the cycle of life that was discussed in The Meaning of Life. I believe the circle is telling us is that life never really ends. That is Consciousness is on an eternal circle wheel powered by the Spirit of God.
Because of this, one would think that Pi would be exactly 3 because we see Gods nature as perfect trinity. If you recall from your geometry, Pi x diameter = circumference of any circle. So it attempts to describe the ratio between the diameter and the circumference of a circle. For thousands of years different civilizations used the value of THREE for Pi to make their calculations. Now, we have come to realize that the value of Pi is actually unknown. I find this very interesting.
We have come to believe and accept that God expresses using the TRINITY. We see this everywhere, and yet, the circle, the very shadow of lifes cycle, wants to defy this logic. Why? My understanding is that just as we can never fully find out what is Pi, we can also never fully comprehend God. We are coming to understand God as Father + Son + Holy Spirit = 3. However, I believe that God is more than we can know. Just as Pi is that irrational number greater than 3, so is God beyond our comprehension. God must be more than Father, Son and Holy Spirit because Pi is more than 3 (3.14159265...). That never-ending remnant after the 3 takes reasoning beyond understanding. We are transported back to the point of singularity where numbers are nothing and where matter is nothing. There the circle of Consciousness is brought to that ONE single point called the here and now and this is all there is.
return to the Savior of the World