Self Realisation and Self Actualisation

Self realisation is not the end of the journey. You discover yourself, and your deep inner nature, you find the joy of connection with all things, you feel a sense of constant peace – then what? Is that as far as it goes? Do you just sit and meditate for the rest of your life? Or do you take what you have learnt and bring it back into the world. I believe that the deeper and more important reponse is the latter. As we find our sense of connection with all, as we identify not just with our personal small sense of self, but with the greater universal self, then service becomes natural, the desire to help others is part of the desire to help oneself. It would be inaccurate to call it ‘selfless’ service because there is so much that the person gains through that service, so much that is gained by giving – it is ‘Self-full’ service – giving with the whole being because it is good for myself, and for the other who is also in some way part of my greater sense of self.

Do you see how the realisation leads to the desire for action? And this drive to serve leads to the next big challenge in one’s life – the challenge of making a difference – and of finding your particular role in service to the all. People are not always satisfied by simply serving in any particular way, this is also about themselves after all – it is about service to all – including oneself, and so the joy of expressing yourself in an authentic, beautiful, skillful way is also an important part of the mix, and so people begin to search for their own unique role in the world, their passions, and their mission. They go on vision quests, or they make vision boards, they take on projects and look for meaning in all of these actions. If they have done the previous work well – if they have truly realised themselves then they will be positive, joyful, and unstoppable – even when things go badly they will stand back up and quickly recover to try again. They will not necessarily know the best things to do, or have the greatest skills in the area, but skills and knowledge can be learnt, and that basic foundation of connection and inner peace makes all of this action so much easier or at least gives so much energy that the difficulties are much easier to manage.

Oneness is not just an inner experience, it is a fundamental shift of perception that leads people to become truly good – to combine the wisdom that they have learnt from the inner work with the passion that comes from the care and connection with all. I do not think it is enough to seek self-realisation. The world and all those around us need us to become self-actualised to step into our power in truly loving way. It is this profound expression of spiritual truths in action that can unite and bind our society, and transform the challenges we are facing into true growth and upliftment. Can we imagine a society of people living their truth – self realised and self actualised? What would they do to the world around them? What problems would they not solve?

The Layers of the Mind

Throughout the world in all the spiritual traditions, and even in modern psychology the same understanding about the layers of the mind pops up again and again. It is described in different ways, and in different contexts, but the essence of it is always the same. In yoga they are called the layers of the mind or Koshas. In Christianity St Teresa d’Ávila described them symbolically as the mansions of the heart – different houses that we can live in inside our heart. The Theosophists describe the 7 rays, Zen and chinese buddhism have an artistic representation based on the story of a Bull that runs away and must be found and brought home. In western psychology they are described as stages of psychological development, but no matter what system you want to use, we all go through the same stages in our personal growth. The same recognisable experiences – presumeably because we are opening up the same levels of our consciousness. Of course exactly how many stages and how you describe them varies slightly, but there is a fairly close consistency across the traditions and around the world. Here is my best understanding of those layers of the mind

1. Instinct

Those who live by their instincts respond quickly and effectively to emergency and survival situations, but may have trouble controlling themselves in situations where the challenges are less direct. Modern city life for example does not lend itself well to a purely instinctive existence. Instinct is necessary, and it creates the fastest responses, but not always the wisest, or most loving.

2. Conscience

Our conscience leads to honourable and righteous behaviour, it restricts and controls the instincts so that they can be adapted to suit more closely our social existence. It is the conscience that allows us to live well in society, to become an upstanding, professional member of society. You will see the conscience well developed in most religious people, and it is a large part of what conventional, conservative religion teaches. It is also the foundation upon which all more elevated spiritual experiences begin.

3. Intellect

The scientific and technological revolution that has led to the wonders of modern society was the upswelling of this layer of the mind. It is responsible for deep thought, and analysis. This is a wonderful thing, only limited by the fact that analysis by its nature is divisive – it understands by separating things into small pieces and comprehending each little piece. In order to understand the systems and connections between things – the patterns that underly everything – one needs to access further layers, but enormous knowledge and ability can be developed at this stage.

4. Insight

Beyond the intellect is creativity, inspiration, dreams, and insight into oneself and others. All of these things are part of one way of looking at the world – a way that does not divide into pieces, but rather looks at how the different elements fit together. It is not precise, but rather inspired. It is this that allows us to develop emotional intelligence, to create inspired artwork, and to come up with creative solutions to the problems facing us. Many of the greatest scientists, although they worked primarily in the field of intellect – their great breakthroughs were when the inspired creative mind came through with an answer that changed the way we look at and understand the world. Many of our great artists access this part of the mind a lot, and it is responsible for the sensitivity that leads people to humanism – to championing justice, human rights, freedom, equality and such positive qualities.

5. Compassion

Even creativity for all its wonderful qualities can be stressful and overwhelming, and only when we can step beyond it can we find peace, and in that peace a deep compassion for others. This is the layer of mind that is responsible for detachment – the ability to step back and be at peace, not to grasp at what one desires, or thinks should be important; and also for the quality of discrimination which allows one to see what is important, and what is superficial, and to create wise priorities in life. And these qualities lead to wisdom. To a deep understanding of what is important and what is not, and to a sense of compassion that allows the holding space for others true self expression and growth.

6. Ecstacy

Peace and compassion are lovely, but in their quietness they do not engage our passions, and naturally as human beings we have a lot of passion. As we step beyond the layer of compassion we open up the layer of ecstacy where our passionate nature is engaged into our spiritual journey, and where we experience directly for ourselves the deepest aspects of the nature of the universe, and love itself. Devotion, and the divine love affair often find their expression here, and the gnostic experiences of direct perception of the nature of reality. Belief no longer is relevant because you can observe directly for yourself what is true. This is a powerful experience, an intense loving experience, but at times one that is too strong to be comfortable.

7. Connection

The loving ecstacy has a profound quality of love – I love you, and you love me, I love God, or I love everything. In whatever form it takes there is a lover and a beloved, but in the layer of connection all becomes one – I can no longer love you because I am you, and yet it is one of the most profoundly loving experience one can have. It is this experience of connection that people call oneness, and that leads to selfless service, and worldly effectiveness at the same time as deep inner peace and joy. The intense feelings that we experienced in the ecstatic phase have softened, so that the love is still there in some form, but it no longer feel difficult or intense, rather it feels peaceful and satisfying.

8. The Beyond

This is a book devoted to Oneness and Connection and yet to be complete I must point out that there is an experience beyond that – the experience of Emptiness, of Nothingness that is infinite peace, and completely detached from worldly existence. This experience allows people to step outside of our ordinary reality and experience profound bliss while they are totally unaware of their bodies. The greatest of joys, but in some way impractical – one cannot operate in the world at this level, and so after our little holiday in the beyond most people eventually choose to come back to reality (or at least this reality), and bring just a touch of infinite bliss with them.

Beyond Love

Is Love the answer? The obvious joke would be that it depends on what the question is – but that is not really accurate. Love is so universal that in some form it is the answer to almost any question that one can ask, but whether or not you have a true answer depends on what you mean by love. The current popular vision of love as portrayed in hollywood movies clearly does not solve our life challenges, and even the more hippy concept of loving all, or unconditional love does not seem to create a true powerful transformation, only a counter culture that appears to be in conflict with the rest of society – and how can conflict be an expression of love? Interesting don’t you think. And yet as I said Love in some form or other will be the answer to all of the questions, and especially the one I am particularly interested in – ‘What is the answer to the challenges that face us today?’ – the challenges of society, of environment, of modern life.

Everything we ever do is motivated by love. Some actions are motivated by love of self, and so seem to be selfish actions, some actions are motivated by love of friends and family, and so seem more generous, and yet are still limited in scope, some are motivated by love of country, which can be more noble, but in its nationalism can be highly problematic, leading to wars and conflicts. Some actions are motivated by a seemingly selfless love for all others around us. The difference is not in the love – the difference is in the expansion of that love – where is the boundary beyond which our love does not reach? The greater the expansion of that boundary the more great and positive seems the love, but as long as there is such a boundary then every loving action will also be unloving towards someone or something else. If we truly want to resolve our challenges with love then we cannot be at the one time resolving problems in a loving way, and at the same time creating problems elsewhere in the place where we do not consider, and do not love. Even those who seemingly love all, often have trouble loving the system and the nature of society as it is. Who can love the capitalist system, the misguided leaders who are taking us down dangerous paths, and also the person in front of us challenging us in this moment? And who can love themselves as well at the same time. It is not possible to achieve this kind of love while seeing things as separate – we do not have space in our hearts for a billion different loves, but only for one love that encompasses all things. And it is this encompassing love that we experience when we discover the Oneness and connection with all. It is this love that allows us to harmonise with all things, and to bring light into the darkness, joy where there was suffering, celebration where there was struggle. It is this encompassing love of all as one that answers our challenges today. It is different to the romantic love, to the compassionate love, to the dedicated faithful love that we see in common life and fiction, though it has elements of all of these. It has a very particular quality – no longer ‘I Love You’ – a phrase that is said with such serious earnestness, now it has become ‘We Are One’ a sentence that can be expressed with exuberance and joy and celebration as well as with the deepest peace and contentment.

Conflict is only a lack of understanding

Why is life such a struggle? It seems like conflicts are a constant part of life – the inner conflict resolving the different parts of yourself, conflicts in your family and relationships, political conflict, war, and the conflict between how you wish the world was, and the way it actually is. But in the end all conflict arises from a misperception of the nature of things. Underneath there is rarely if ever a true conflict – only that we do not understand what we are arguing about. The Atheist and the Christian argue about whether or not God exists, but underneath both of them know that what is important is love, and how we can live in a truly loving way, and any conflict about God is largely about understanding what we mean by that concept – is it universal consciousness? An old man in the sky? There is not really a conflict. 2 children fight over a ball – ‘It’s mine’, ‘No it’s mine’ – but what they really want is to play with it, and a ball is perfect to play with together. Is there any conflict – not really. 2 countries fight over the territory, but what do they really want? Is it security, or wealth, or a sense of greatness? Whatever it is, underneath there is no real conflict. Conflict is only a lack of understanding. In a couple they fight, about the different movies they want to watch, or how to communicate with each other, but in the end all they both want is love and connection – they just don’t know how to achieve it.

What is real is challenge. Constantly life throws us new challenges – new things for us to learn, new ways for us to grow, and if we imagine that the other is against us maybe we will interpret that as conflict, but if we realise that we are all in this together then we can find the ability to grow and overcome, to turn challenges into opportunities, and to celebrate life and the growth that it encourages in us. Do you want to live in a world where we are all divided one against the other, or where we all work together as one? I know which one I would choose.

Alone to All one

There is only one negative emotion. There is only one reason for all the pain and suffering that you go through. Whether you experience anger and frustration, or sadness, fear, guilt, and even the heartache of love – whatever emotional experience you are going through it is caused by the same single issue that is found all over the world, in all people. And similarly there is really only one single positive emotion that fills us with joy and peace. Some would call these emotions Love and Fear, but I find this a confusing and misleading use of words. Better to say connection and disconnection. Either you are feeling the connection with all things, your heart is open and your are filled with joy and peace, or you are feeling disconnection, and the lack and joy and peace leads to all the suffering experiences of pain and anger and all negative emotions. Connection is natural. It is the natural way we exist and operate in this world (and beyond it), but sometimes resistance creeps in, and we close down to that infinite connection, and try defend our self from the world around us. Unfortunately for us that connection is an all or nothing thing – either you connect with everything, or you lose the joy, and begin to drop into the lower and less pleasant states of consciousness. Many times we attempt to resolve this with filling up on human love – finding someone to care for us and make us feel better, or through other experiences – drugs, entertainment, pleasure – and while in themselves these are not necessarily bad things (maybe drugs are arguable here – can they be considered bad? Maybe in some circumstances) – chasing these worldly experiences to try to resolve a greater existential crisis is not really effective. This infinite connection that gives us joy and peace, this connection with all things is what people call Oneness. It is not some unreachable grand experience that only few are gifted with – it is the natural state of human beings, and one which we do not function well without. We can experience the loneliness of disconnection from that infinite network of loving connection or we can choose to open to the ‘All One’ the joyous connection that uplifts us all.

Everything is Not Equal

woman in white and pink floral shirt raising her hands

Everything is not equal. That is an untenable concept. If everything is equal there is no distinction between judgment and acceptance, no difference between love and hate, no preference towards equality over differentiation. The whole basis of treating things as equal is based on a judgment – that equality is better, and this falls down by it’s own argument. If it is good to treat everything as equal, then it is equally good to treat everything as unequal. It becomes a meaningless concept.

And yet – it is a very popular concept. Why is such a nonsensical proposition so popular? Well for a start it is an expression of a reaction against the opposite – a reaction that of course leads to the opposite imbalance, as all reactions, or at least most of them do. We react against the feeling of being judged, against the sense of hierarchy that we see in the world, against the power structures that seem to be so insurmountable, and unavoidable, and we wish for something that didn’t have those power structures. We wish for something that didn’t have any power structures at all, and this we imagine as equality. Of course what we don’t realise is that there is always a power structure. Even if it is the informal power of who do people listen to more, or the assumption of wisdom among the older people, or whatever unspoken rules govern people’s unconscious perceptions and responses to the world. In many cases these unspoken power structures can be worse than the conscious ones because the conscious ones can at least be considered, and discussed, and perhaps even changed, but the unspoken, unconscious power structures are very difficult to even understand – they are in our shadow – the part of ourselves that we cannot (or will not) see.

This concept of equality is also particularly popular among a particular section of our population. Those we might call mature souls, or heart centred, compassionate people. The soulful explorers of life who wish to discover themselves in their own way – people who might become artists, or community organisers, who understand and are drawn to compassion and inner peace. There is a strong inner motivation for this concept of equality based on the core principle that guides these people’s happiness in life. These people find happiness through acceptance, gratitude, compassion, mindfulness. It is crucial for their own wellbeing and happiness that they treat all with compassion and love, and that they lean towards understanding rather than judgment. And this is a great thing to do. But it is a very different thing to practice compassion, and to impose those ideas that might come out of compassion onto the nature of the universe. Also perhaps there are better ideas – more true ones that can lead us to compassion – an understanding of the uniqueness, and differences between everything that realises that equality and inequality don’t even make sense because at essence we cannot compare. Each element is so different that it can only be admired for what it is.

And this leads to even more compassion than our previous thoughts of equality. And it still allows for choice, for distinguishing between what we choose, and what we leave aside, for what leads to wellbeing, and what leads to discomfort. Discrimination and Detachment are qualities that are recognised as being part of the same level of the mind as compassion and understanding. Detachment meaning inner peace, being in the now, happy with all that is, and Discrimination being the ability to judge what is worth taking on – because it suits my (or our) wellbeing, and what is worth discarding, or at least not exploring because it is not so beneficial.

Let us instead of focusing on the equality of all things – let us focus on the understanding and respect for all things and their differences. Let us see how there are so many possible expressions out there, and each one has its own value and its own place in the world. Each one if we can understand it well has its place that will lead to a more profound, beautiful experience of the world. Let us embrace all, but let us not let that lead us away from the discrimination of knowing in which direction we would like to head, and which things lead to joy and happiness, and beauty, and which to ugliness and brutality.

How to deal with relationships

The one key to relationships and some exercises

Relationships are simple, if you tune in to them, but if you don’t quite get the frequency right, if you tune into the wrong radio station somehow everything falls apart. If you can tune into that radio station of relationship harmony then all your relationship issues will be transformed. Yes I do mean romantic relationships, and also the relationships with your parents, friends and community etc. So how do you tune into that station? What is the right frequency?

The basic concept is that you need to be in connection with yourself – that’s authenticity, and with the other, that’s compassion, and with the Infinite – that’s positivity and passion. If you leave any one of them out of the mix then things go wrong, but if you put them all in then things keep getting better.

Now doing this is not always easy. It is a very common experience that we feel being true to myself takes me out of connection with others, and also the other way around – being true to others makes you self sacrificing, but it is possible, and the more that you practice it the easier it gets. When I first heard about the idea I liked the theory, but couldn’t actually figure out how to do it. When eventually I learnt the feeling of ‘Differentiation’ (that’s the technical term psychologists use) then things began to work out.

So how do we practict this? Here are some exercises that can give you a feeling for it:

Learn to Waltz

The Waltz is the classic romantic music and dance because it expresses the feeling of authentic relationships – listen to Waltzes, and learn to dance them, and strengthen that feeling in yourself.

The Relationship Qigong

These simple physical postures give you the feeling of vulnerability, and strengthen your masculinity and feminity (important for your authentic expression in relationship) in a way that stays authentic and vulnerable. Here is one for men:

The Relationship Posture for Men

The Relationship Posture for Women

Qabalistic meditation

The Qabalah – the Jewish mystical tradition has a series of meditation exercises based on the hebrew letters. This one ‘Shin Aleph Hey’ is for Soulmate Relationships. Focus on the letters, imagine them in your mind. You can also imagine them while doing the other exercises so the exercises strengthen each other.

Yogic Dances

Yoga has some traditional exercises that are kind of dances (they are not really dances in the normal sense – they are not an artistic expression, but they resemble dances so what should I call them? Dancercise? Aerobics?) These are a bit more strenuous than the previous postures, but essentially do the same thing – strengthening the masculinity and femininity in a focused way. (Please note that femininity is not the same as weakness. It is more relaxed than the masculine focus, but has it’s own power. Strengthening your femininity does not mean giving your power away, in fact it means claiming your true power.)

Tandava Exercise for men

Kaoshikii exercise for women

Other Resources

If you are interested in learning more about relationships I can recommend a few other resources. The Marriage Builders Website is quite useful with a lot of information about understanding your needs and the other person’s needs in relationship. This is not quite the same as the differentiation that we have been talking about here, but it is also valuable knowledge

The book Passionate Marriage is the best resource I know for understanding differentiation:

Teal Swan also has a lot of wisdom to share about relationships that is worth hearing. Here is her youtube channel

Extra Resources

Hopefully this should be enough for you to sort out your relationship problems on your own, but if this is not then talk to me about extra resources. I am considering putting together an online course to help people to focus on learning this feeling, and creating some essences and spiritual healing resources for the same purpose, and perhaps what would be the most fun is to make an album of music that is devoted to expressing this feeling in music. Let me know if you need more support and I’ll see what I can do.

Joy comes first

which comes first? Do you look for the important practical things that need doing? Or do you look for the joy of life and existence? Do you try to get all of the stresses out of the way and then have some space for relaxation and celebration? Or do you start with finding your peace and joy, and then take action.

It should be pretty obvious to anyone that knows me which one I would choose (joy first for those who don’t know me). But what may not be clear is why that is so important. Of course there are times when you simple must act and there is no time for reflection and peace – emergency situations, and yes in emergency situations one must respond appropriately and quickly, but most of life should not be an emergency. The rest of the time we have at least a little bit of space to decide what are our priorities, and how we are going to approach the challenges of the day, and how we put our priorities makes enormous differences in the outcome.

If we start with the action and stress then everything we do will be a poor attempt at solving an overwhelming problem at the end of the day we will have tackled most of what needs to be tackled, but our solutions will not be wise or well thought out. We will have built a small part of our lives in the image of that stress. If we start with the experience of peace and joy and connection then each response will be somewhat inspired and creative, and by the end of the day we will have tackled the same challenges, but what we have built will be so much more beautiful, and we will be building a much more future and life for ourselves.

Why is this so important? Because all of the major problems facing our society could be seen as sprouting from this one issue. The issue of action without wisdom, focus without peace. Why is it that we have created roads and businesses and factories, and economies that are now in danger of destroying the very environment that we depend on for survival? Because we put the big picture out of our minds, forget about the connection with the environment and just get down to work on the individual issues facing us. It is a well meaning focus on solving those problems, but as soon as the big picture is lost, the small steps that are made create as many problems as they solve.

Why do we have poverty and injustice throughout the world? Is it not the same? That we are so busy solving problems for ourselves and the few people around us that we lose track of the bigger picture – how this affects all around us.

If it is not clear the connection between joy, and a more united, big picture, wise approach to life let me try to spell it out. Our minds are naturally open and compassionate – when you take away the stress they reach out in connection. We care about others. When the stress and overwhelm and emotion is removed people’s sense of connection to others is improved, their creativity grows, and their ability to see clearly expands. It is like the fog being removed from your glasses. Human beings do not need to actively expand their viewpoint (thought that can help) they just need to take away the parts of themselves that are preventing that expansion – the emotion and the stress etc.

This is why meditation is so important (and by meditation i mean it in the broadest sense – sitting still, or taichi, or a peaceful cup of tea) It is this that sets aside the stresses and emotions that cloud our vision, and allow us to see clearly. There is a saying that everyone should meditate half an hour every day unless they are very busy – in which case they should meditate one hour. Now I don’t think you need to take this literally. One hour meditation is difficult for many, but the idea that it is under our greatest stress and challenge that we should put the most effort into our inner peace and centring is very important.

Start the day with connection – a meditation of sorts. And come back to it again at the end. If you can do this then life will become a much more beautiful thing, and the effect you have on the world will similarly be so much deeper, more profound and more beautiful.

The Oneness Gospel

The Oneness Gospel

An Esoteric Translation and Commentary

Part 2 Yohanan the Baptist

והָדֵא הִי סָהדּוּתֵה דּיוּחַנָן כַּד שַׁדַּרו לוָתֵה יִהוּדָיֵא מֵן אוּרִשׁלֵם כָּהנֵא ולֵוָיֵא דַּנשַׁאלוּנָיהי אַנתּ מַן אַנתּ. וַאודִּי ולָא כּפַר וַאודִּי דּלַו אֵנָא אנָא משִׁיחָא. ושַׁאלוּהי תּוּב מָנָא הָכִיל אִלִיָא אַנתּ וֵאמַר לָא אִיתַי נבִיָא אַנתּ וֵאמַר לָא .וֵאמַרו לֵה ומַנוּ אַנתּ דּנֵתֵּל פֵּתגָמָא לַאילֵין דּשַׁדּרוּן מָנָא אָמַר אַנתּ עַל נַפשָׁכ. אֵמַר אֵנָא קָלָא דּקָרֵא בּמַדבּרָא דַּאשׁוַו אוּרחֵה דּמָריָא אַיכַּנָא דֵּאמַר אֵשַׁעיָא נבִיָא. הָנוּן דֵּין דֵּאשׁתַּדַּרו מֵן פּרִישֵׁא הוַו. ושַׁאלוּהי וֵאמַרו לֵה מָנָא הָכִיל מַעמֵד אַנתּ אֵן אַנתּ לָא אִיתַיכּ משִׁיחָא ולָא אִלִיָא ולָא נבִיָא. ענָא יוּחַנָן וֵאמַר להוּן אֵנָא מַעמֵד אנָא בּמַיָא בַּינָתכוּן דֵּין קָאֵם הַו דַּאנתּוּן לָא יָדעִין אנתּוּן לֵה. הָנַו הַו דּבָתַרי אָתֵא וַהוָא לֵה קדָמַי הַו דֵּאנָא לָא שָׁוֵא אנָא דֵּאשׁרֵא עַרקֵא דַּמסָנַוהי. הָלֵין בּבֵית‌עַניָא הוַי בּעֵברָא דּיוּרדּנָן אַיכָּא דּמַעמֵד הוָא יוּחַנָן. וַליַומָא דּבָתרֵה חזָא יוּחַנָן ליֵשׁוּע דָּאתֵא לוָתֵה וֵאמַר הָא אֵמרֵה דַּאלָהָא הַו דּשָׁקֵל חטִיתֵה דּעָלמָא. הָנַו דֵּאנָא אֵמרֵת עלַוהי דּבָתַרי אָתֵא גַּברָא וַהוָא לֵה קדָמַי מֵטֻל דּקַדמָי הוּ מֵני. וֵאנָא לָא יָדַע הוִית לֵה אֵלָא דּנֵתִידַע לאִיסרָיֵל מֵטֻל הָנָא אֵתִית אֵנָא דַּבמַיָא אַעמֵד. וַאסהֵד יוּחַנָן וֵאמַר דַּחזִית לרוּחָא דּנָחתָּא מֵן שׁמַיָא אַיכ יַונָא וקַויַת עלַוהי. וֵאנָא לָא יָדַע הוִית לֵה אֵלָא מַן דּשַׁדּרַני דַּאעמֵד בּמַיָא הוּ אֵמַר לִי דַּאינָא דּחָזֵא אַנתּ דּנָחתָּא רוּחָא וַמקַויָא עלַוהי הָנַו מַעמֵד בּרוּחָא דּקוּדשָׁא .וֵאנָא חזִית וַאסהדֵת דּהָנַו בּרֵה דַּאלָהָא. 

When Yohanan was asked who he was by the priests and Levites that the Jewish leaders had sent, he did not hide the truth, but freely said, “I am not he – not the Messiah.”  So they asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Eliyahu?”  He said, “not I.”

“Are you then the Prophet?”

He said, “No.”

Finally they said, “Who are you? What shall we say to those who sent us? What do you say of yourself?”

Yohanan quoted Isaiah the prophet, “I am a voice, calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord.’ ”

Now the Pharisees who had been sent to question him said, “How can you baptise if you are not the Messiah, nor Eliyahu, nor the Prophet?”

“With water I baptise,” Yohanan replied, “but there stands among you one unknown. He is the one that will follow me and that is ahead of me, and I am not even worthy to untie the sandals on his feet.”

This occurred in Beth-Anya on the far side of the Jordan, where Yohanan was baptising.


 Yohanan – The name became ‘John’ in English through a process of mispronunciation across several languages – Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English.  This transformation of names affected all the names in the new testament – some worse than others.  Yohanan or ‘John the Baptist’ was a forerunner of Yeshua/Jesus whose message is the oldest version of ‘The end of the world is nigh’ that I have ever come across.  He encouraged people to cleanse themselves and live righteously in preparation for the coming Judgement.

 Priests and Levites – The Levites were a Jewish tribe that were the only group who could become Priests and serve in the Temple.  Not all Levites were Priests, but all Priests were Levites.  The Priest class has completely disappeared from modern Judaism with the destruction of the temple, and been replaced by Rabbis (Teachers rather than Officiators).  The Levites still exist as people with the surname Levi, who still have some special roles in Jewish ceremonies, albeit very minor, small roles.  Their importance has been lost, and Judaism has become much more focused on the practices of the individual rather than on the sacrifices performed by the priests.  Interestingly this is reminiscent of some of Yeshua’s teachings, and one could consider to what extent modern Judaism was influenced by those teachings.  In the same way that although in India Buddhism is not very popular, the basic principles of mindfulness the Buddha taught have become a strong part of the Spiritual Tradition.  Perhaps the great prophet’s teachings were influential enough to be taken on even among those who resisted them.  I would like to think so.

Messiah – meaning the Anointed one – the one that was blessed with oil.  In modern English we would say ‘The Chosen One’.  The Jewish conception of this Messiah figure was someone who would lead the Jewish people back to greatness, restore their independence, and perhaps also be some kind of Prophet or spiritual guide for their new Golden Age.  The expectation was something much more political in nature than we see in Yeshua (even though Yeshua was quite political), and certainly they were expecting someone who would strengthen and build up Judaism rather than challenge it in such a profound way.  The Gospels put a lot effort into supporting the idea that Yeshua was the Messiah, probably in an effort to put his work into a context that the people of the time could understand.

Eliyahu – Eliyahu is an old testament prophet who is most famous for the possibility that he was abducted by aliens.  The story tells of him being lifted up into heaven in a chariot of fire (does that sound like a UFO or what?!), and because of this that he was never seen dying, but rather being raised up to heaven there are some stories that perhaps he is still alive, and will come back, or even that he does come back to help people when he is needed.

The Prophet – in Deuteronomy 18:15 Moses promises the people that there will be a Prophet in every generation who will guide the people in the same way that he did.  Some feel that the time of Prophets has passed, but others would say that if you look around you will find a constant string of Prophets who may or may not be recognised, but who guide the people with their wisdom.  Yohanan claims not to be this Prophet, but he does seem like he has a lot of the qualities we would expect from one.

Pharisees – The Pharisees were a Jewish sect at the time that was very influential, and very focused on following the letter of the law.  The closest thing we find today is orthodox religion with its focus on doing what we are told is the right thing without much inner exploration or soul searching.

Baptism – Baptism is clearly based on the Jewish practice of Mikveh – ceremonial cleansing which could be done either in special bath houses (with water at body temperature and special processes to maintain the purity of the energies) or in natural water sources – streams and pools, which of course keep their purity of energy through other means.  Baptism has extended this concept to a spiritual cleansing that while similar seems to have a different purpose, and possibly a different effect.  The key difference being the frequency.  Baptism tends to be done once, or at least rarely whereas the Mikveh was (and in some cases still is) attended regularly to regain spiritual purity.

A Prayer

As Yohanan baptised and cleansed the spirits of the people in his day, and as Yeshua baptised and cleansed with the power of the holy spirit, so may I be showered by the healing waters of eternal life, and the pure light of God that all dross and imperfections may be cleared away, and I may be blessed with the light and love of God.  Let it overpower the darkness.  Let it spill over in my heart and shine into the world.  Guide me in the ways of true love and light, and in this way may the Holy Spirit bless me and elevate me to share Divine light through the world.

In The Beginning

An esoteric translation and commentary on John 1

That all might experience the joy of divine love, that none might get lost in the darkness of confusion we (that is Seraphim Winslow and I) have attempted to create a Gospel that speaks not just in words and stories, but also in poetry, in sounds and in energy – that is imbued with the holy spirit so that all who read it may be touched not just by the story, but by the inner spirit that the story is intended to convey.  Sacred Texts are intended to speak to you on many levels, and this one is a history and an allegory, but we hope that we can add to this the power of poetry and art, and create a truly whole being experience of the Gospels.  There are many ways to read the Gospels, and many different depths at which we can explore our Christian Spirituality.  This book is for those who wish to explore the deepest mystical experience of union with the divine through christ.

There are at least 3 different ways of reading sacred texts – literally – as a history of things that happened, Allegorically as symbols that help us to understand ourselves, and mystically – where we imbibe the direct spiritual power of the words, letters, poetry, and underlying spiritual energies imbued in the text.  Compared to any other translation this Oneness Gospel has not changed any of the literal or allegorical meanings, but it attempts to transfer more truly, and more completely the spiritual power of the original document, and the original words and deeds of Christ.  For those who are seeking the direct spiritual experience this is for you.  For those who are not seeking it, I hope that this may give you a taste, and you may begin to develop an interest in the deepest mystical experiences that Christianity can give us.

This is the first chapter of the upcoming book.

In The Beginning

בּרִשִׁית אִיתַוהי הוָא מֵלתָא והוּ מֵלתָא אִיתַוהי הוָא לוָת אַלָהָא וַאלָהָא אִיתַוהי הוָא הוּ מֵלתָא. הָנָא אִיתַוהי הוָא בּרִשִׁית לוָת אַלָהָא .כֻּל בּאִידֵה הוָא ובֵלעָדַוהי אָפלָא חדָא הוָת מֵדֵּם דַּהוָא. בֵּה חַיֵא הוָא וחַיֵא אִיתַיהוּן נוּהרָא דַּבנַינָשָׁא. והוּ נוּהרָא בּחֵשׁוּכָא מַנהַר וחֵשׁוּכָא לָא אַדרכֵה. הוָא בַּרנָשָׁא דֵּאשׁתַּדַּר מֵן אַלָהָא שׁמֵה יוּחַנָן. הָנָא אֵתָא לסָהדּוּתָא דּנֵסהַד עַל נוּהרָא דּכֻלנָשׁ נהַימֵן בּאִידֵה. לָא הוּ הוָא נוּהרָא אֵלָא דּנֵסהַד עַל נוּהרָא .אִיתַוהי הוָא גֵּיר נוּהרָא דַּשׁרָרָא דּמַנהַר לכֻלנָשׁ דָּאתֵא לעָלמָא. בּעָלמָא הוָא ועָלמָא בּאִידֵה הוָא ועָלמָא לָא יַדעֵה. בּעָלמָא הוָא ועָלמָא בּאִידֵה הוָא ועָלמָא לָא יַדעֵה. לדִילֵה אֵתָא ודִילֵה לָא קַבּלוּהי .אַילֵין דֵּין דּקַבּלוּהי יַהב להוּן שׁוּלטָנָא דַּבנַיָא דַּאלָהָא נֵהווּן לַאילֵין דַּמהַימנִין בַּשׁמֵה. אַילֵין דּלַו מֵן דּמָא ולָא מֵן צֵביָנָא דּבֵסרָא ולָא מֵן צֵביָנָא דּגַברָא אֵלָא מֵן אַלָהָא אֵתִילֵדו. ומֵלתָא בֵּסרָא הוָא וַאגֵּן בַּן וַחזַין שׁוּבחֵה שׁוּבחָא אַיכ דִּיחִידָיָא דּמֵן אַבָא דַּמלֵא טַיבּוּתָא וקוּשׁתָּא. יוּחַנָן סהֵד עלַוהי וַקעָא וֵאמַר הָנַו הַו דֵּאמרֵת דּבָתַרי אָתֵא וַהוָא לֵה קדָמַי מֵטֻל דּקַדמָי הוּ מֵני. ומֵן מַליוּתֵה חנַן כֻּלַן נסַבן וטַיבּוּתָא חלָפ טַיבּוּתָא. מֵטֻל דּנָמוּסָא בּיַד מוּשֵׁא אֵתִיהֵב שׁרָרָא דֵּין וטַיבּוּתָא בּיַד יֵשׁוּע משִׁיחָא הוָא. אַלָהָא לָא חזָא אנָשׁ מֵמתוּם יִחִידָיָא אַלָהָא הַו דּאִיתַוהי בּעוּבָּא דַּאבוּהי הוּ אֵשׁתַּעִי.

The word was in the beginning, With God the word was, and The Word was God.  It was with god from the beginning, through it all things were made, and nothing was made without it.  In it was the life, and that life was the light for humanity.  The light shines in the dark, and is never conquered by the dark.

There was a man sent by God whose name was Yohanan.  He came as witness to that light – to testify so that through him all might believe.  He was not himself the light, but came to tell us of that light. 

The light of truth that lights up all came to this world.  In this world he was, and though the world was made through him, in this world, he was not recognised.  He came to that which belonged to him, but that which was his own did not accept him.  Yet to all that did accept him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be children of God – Children who were born not of the blood, desire, or will, of man, but children born of God.

The Word embodied and made his house among us.  We have seen his Glory, the Glory of the only, single Son, who came from the Father, filled with Grace and Truth.

It was of him Yohanan testified, cried out and said:  “This is whom I spoke about when I said ‘The one that comes after me surpasses me because he was before me’”  Out of his fullness we’ve all received grace upon grace.

For the law was given through Moshe but Grace and Truth came through Yeshua the One.  No one has ever seen God, but the one and only son who is himself God and is closest to the Father, has made him known to us.

The Commentary

“The word was in the beginning, With God the word was, and The Word was God” John 1:1

    The word “Beginning” and “Word”, are both synonymous with the principle word: “God”.  So, to put it another way: In God was God … and God was with God … and God was God.

    Here are three different ways to express the same meaning: 0+1+0 = 1/1 = 2 – 1.

    It appears on the surface (or “persona” which means “mask” or “face”) – that is, it appears on the face of it – to be three different expressions. But, in fact, these three expressions are saying one thing. The three expressions in this equation are telling a single truth: that God is essentially Love, which is the exact same thing as saying that God is a single relational bond between partners that is, nevertheless, undivided and indivisible. God is one, and yet this oneness is capable of bearing an internal relation to itself that can be expressed in three different ways: 1) as nothing and fullness (or wholeness) and nothing; 2) or, as the Fullness of wholeness; 3) or again, as a hidden non-duality that emerges from duality but means of emptiness, i.e. subtraction.

“It was with god from the beginning.” John 1:2

Emphasizing onenesss rather than threeness, John 1:2 consists of one clause with three substances, unlike John 1:1, which consists of three clauses expressing one substantial ideal. So, John 1:2 is a recapitulation of John 1:1: He = Beginning = God; but since this is the second verse that we are now given to ponder in the reading, we understand that the duality (entailed by secondness) is just as resolvable by unicity as thirdness (entailed by the three clauses in John 1:1) is resolvable by unicity. Trinity is the unity of duality.

    Yes, Trinity is the Unity of Duality. Remember this formula because it will come up again all throughout the New Testament. Later on in his scripture, John will tell us that the Logos says, “wherever two or three are gathered in my name…”. God’s name, which is “One” can manifest in twofold or threefold multiplicity – or fourfold or fivefold, for that matter – without loss of substance, quality, or essential unity.

     Since all multiplicity is nothing more than a plurality of unities, then unity is always already present within any multiplicity, no matter how apparently fragmented or aggregated the units making up the plurality may appear on the surface. We know that 1 = 1, right? Well, then 2 is nothing more nor less than 1 + 1. And again, three is nothing more nor less than 1 + 1 + 1; and four is nothing but 1 + 1 + 1 +1, etc.

    Trinity is the Unity of Duality.  The structure of the human condition is no longer to be seen, as it was before the Revelation of God in Christ, as one against one and all against all. No, Christ’s revelation says that one is together with one, and everyone together until God becomes All in All  (Galatians 3:27).

“Through it all things were made, and nothing was made without it.  In it was the life, and that life was the light for humanity.” John 1:3-4

      Here begins John’s variant explication on the theme of Creation in the book of Genesis.  John does not use the word “to create” but the strange expression “to come into being,” as creation arrived at “being” ready made, but from some other location, and only gradually unfolded, and continues to unfold, as expressed in the present perfect verb: “what has come into being in him was life.” 

       We must not underestimate the cosmic magnitude and the eternal mystery of the words that John uses to limn the ineffable moment when unmanifest being was made manifest by God. The word “life” here does not just refer to mere biological life, although that is certainly our most familiar mode of life here on Earth. Nor does the word “light” here refer only to the natural light emitted by stars and other things that burn, though again these examples of “light” provide to the eyes of visual creatures a brilliant icon the metaphysical, mystical fact of the true, supernal Light.

       By “Life,” what is really being hinted at, in a most poetic and verbally economical way, is the way God uses divine, uncreated Grace to effect the actions that God alone is capable of performing: creation, evolution, growth, transfiguration, metabolism, healing, reproduction, reconciliation, homeostasis, redemption, resurrection, ascension, prehension; in short, being present.

     You will notice that some of these magical operations are things we consider to be “miracles” and others we relegate merely the category of “biological functions.” Look at the list again to see what I mean: creation, evolution, growth, transfiguration, metabolism, healing, reproduction, reconciliation, homeostasis, redemption, resurrection, ascension, prehension… . If you do not artificially separate these acts into such arbitrary categories you will see that each is just as inexplicable and miraculous as the other. The whole process of life re-enacts the miraculous story of God’s creation and redemption of the world. 

Being, Life, Light = Belonging, Behaving, Believing

     Being/Light/Life are the outer manifestations of the inner relationship of God’s Name, one utterance of which is: … One-loves-another-loving-another-loving-One-loves-another-loving-another-loving-One-loves-another-loving-One, ad infinitum …. .

     Being is primary, setting the stage for the initiation into belonging, upon which all religion is founded. The Life emerging from the Being is analogous, in religious life, to the behavior (ethics) that one performs for those to whom one belongs. Finally, The Light emitting from Being is associated with the faith (belief).

“The light shines in the dark, and is never conquered by the dark..”

     This means that “Light” (God-consciousness as a persuasive power), in spite of how it may appear, is not overcome by “darkness,” which is unconsciousness as coercive power. In our awe and terror of kings, armies, police, and proponents of coercive power, we humans have come to identify power only with coercive power. But in fact, all coercive power is the power of darkness, error, irrationality, mechanicity, and sin. This is the power that Yeshua came to liberate us from: 

Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, as he anointed me to proclaim the good news to those in need. He has sent me to announce freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight to the blind, and to set the oppressed free.”

The name “Yeshua” means, “deliverance, liberation” – in a word: freedom, in all senses of this noun. The “freedom” with which Jesus confronts coercive power, which his holy Mother, in the Magnficat calls the false “imagination” of real power:

“He has demonstrated the strength of his arm: he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.”

Luke 1:46-55

     Coercive power “imagines” itself to be what power really is, but in fact the coercive power of the “mighty” is all smoke and mirrors – literally the power of darkness: a counterfeit force that only looks impressive because it can cause such “shock and awe” in its operation. The false, dark power of violence is the power of hate, repulsion, destruction, dissolution, paralysis, ignorance, and obscurity. True power is the persuasive power of love, creation, attraction, consciousness, knowledge, revelation, and reason. It is what gives “sight for the blind” (Luke 4:18) both literally and figuratively. God’s persuasive power is the divine knowledge that comprises the “good news to the poor” – the poor, of course, being those bereft of such knowledge and so still founder in the ignorance and delusion of mistaking false, diabolic, coercion and force for the true, persuasive power of God’s grace. 

    Job’s friends, who tried to persuade him to believe only in coercion, were entangled in an absurdity. At the end the discourse, God then spoke using the rhetoric of coercive power (which is the only language that bronze age people thought that power could speak) in order to convince Job that God’s only real power is persuasive and never coercive. In other words, the puissance displayed in the miraculous creation of the cosmos, which God reiterates at the end of the book of Job, manifests and reveals. It does not crush, wither, or take revenge. 

    This persuasive power of God has traditionally been known by another word: Grace. The uncreated Grace of God is just God’s power to persuade, never to force or coerce. This means that Divine power is a synonym for Grace, whereas diabolic force is a synonym for violence. Violence tends to separate, divide, fragment, decimate; or else it binds, grasps, clings and imprisons, but it never performs dissolving operations and binding operations simultaneously, as Grace does. Grace, on the other hand, always unites, unifies, coheres, gathers, yet it does so by paradoxically liberating, releasing, freeing, delivering, and letting go. 

    It is this paradoxical, non-dual action of Grace that is represented in the person John the Baptizer. 

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was Yohanan.” John 1:6

     The name “Yohanan” that became “John” means “God is gracious,” or “God’s gracious gift.” Isn’t this the perfect appellation to designate the embodiment of God’s persuasive power? Yukhanan was a preacher, a born persuader, a man lacking any violence or coercive force whatsoever, yet what power he had!

 “He came as witness to that light – to testify so that through him all might believe.” John 1:7 

    What God’s-Gracious-Gift, i.e. Yohanan the Baptizer came to present to humankind was the Divine Light, who had come to Earth in human form.

    Yeshua – born this Light as the Christ, for his mind had been replete with God-consciousness and God-realization since the day of his birth. However, this luminous divine realization had been “hidden under a bushel” of youth, as it were; that is, until the day that this perfect bearer of God-consciousness was revealed to the world by the power of persuasive Grace in the person of John the Baptizer. 

    It is important to keep in mind that the word “believe” does not refer to the blind belief that comes about through commanding force, but the loving trust that is evoked through unifying liberation and liberating unity. The Hebrew word for commandment, “mitzvah,” implies both connection and liberation (for a Jew becomes both connected to God by mindfully fulfilling a mitzvah, and is liberated from sin and lawlessness in the same fulfillment). So, this is why it might be better to avoid the word “commandment” since it implies the kind of coercive force to which God neither would nor could ever resort. 

“He was not himself the light, but came to tell us of that light.” John 1:8

     That is to say, Grace (persuasive power) is not consciousness, but the power to bring consciousness to light. Grace is the flame, but consciousness is the flame’s radiance. 

“The light of truth that lights up all came to this world.” John 1:9

     Each and every created entity enjoys some degree of consciousness. The idea of a thing is its consciousness. This noetic energy may not come in the form of awareness or reflective consciousness, but inasmuch as indefinite substance takes form as a particular entity, the set of physical laws governing its origin, nature, and destiny represent its consciousness. Consciousness is like the energetic signature of a material thing. Consciousness is the inner subjectivity of an outer form of a being. A thing “comes into world” when a thought or idea couples with its ontological counterpart and thus emerges as a real entity. The presence of any thing, or of any person, in the world comprises the offspring of the syzygy of idea and substance, consciousness and being, information and flesh. 

“In this world he was, and though the world was made through him, in this world, he was not recognised. .” John 1:10

    When the Unlimited, Unconditioned and absolutely Unknowable contracts into an infinitesimal point of nearly total limitation and constraint, it can be said to be still unknown, yet now knowable. As this singularity begins to unfold and reveal its infinite features one by one, it gradually becomes more and more known. This display is made possible in light, by light, and through light. The expansion and unfurling of the initially powerless singularity comes into the light of knowledge and it never stops becoming more complex, more diversified, and more intelligent. 

“He came to that which belonged to him, but that which was his own did not accept him.” John 1:11. 

     On a literal, historical level this verse refers to the fact that many ethnic Jews rejected Yeshua of Natzreth (Jesus of Nazareth) as their Messiah, but anagogically, i.e. integrally, it refers to the God’s being present within all things even though this panentheosis is hardly ever acknowledged by those in whom God dwells immanently. The alleged rejection of Yeshua by the Jews is a parable of the way God’s chosen people (all human beings) reject their inner divinity and prefer instead to see themselves as material beings, mere mortals subject to the same accidents and corruptions of the flesh as any animal. Yeshua would later speak to this directly when he quoted the Jews’ own scripture to them, “I say ye are gods, but ye will die like men.” 

    Always keep in mind that in the anagogical interpretation, the phrase “the chosen people” does not refer only to the Jews, but it means all human beings, for all human beings have been chosen inasmuch as all are created in the image and likeness of God, and so have been chosen by God to be God’s sons and daughters by adoption, inheriting all of God’s divine attributes, possessions, and sovereignty just as any crown prince in the old world would inherit all of the king’s attributes, possessions, and sovereignty. Further, in the anagogical interpretation, “men” or “people” (as opposed to “chosen people” or “his own people”) refers to all living creatures and sentient beings: animals and plants, in particular. 

“Yet to all that did accept him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be children of God – ” John 1:12

    John 1:12, as if echoing the fact that Yeshua came as the archetype of God’s one son in order to restore the sonship of all of humanity through the twelve apostles (who recapitulate the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve signs of the zodiac, the dodecahedron Platonic solid, etc.) The quality of the number twelve is such that has been a source of metaphysical interest for at least 2000 years. Like a crystal or a gem, its facets and symmetries represents an idealized form of Divine thought, will, or idea – as if all of the information of the of cosmos can be reduced to twelves points and commensurately can be embodied in a variety of instances such as tribes, apostles, sun signs, and fascinating geometrical figures.

” – Children who were born not of the blood, desire, or will, of man, but children born of God.” John 1;13

     Will and desire drive us, but they do so along four different possible paths: biological evolution (blood), social ambition (the will of the flesh, i.e. the ego), spiritual ambition (the will of man to become a god in his own right, without the blessing and Grace of God), and spiritual involution: the will of God to adopt a human being made in God’s image, and thereby to deify her or him. 

The Word embodied and made his house among us.  We have seen his Glory, the Glory of the only, single Son, who came from the Father, filled with Grace and Truth.”

    As such, the Word of God, or Christ – which means the non-duality of divinity and humanity – expressed itself in the form of a social being, a male human with the name “Yeshua” who was born in a specific location of spacetime. 

A Prayer

Light of the world, shine your light into the darknesses of our existence.  Please continue to be a guiding light for me, and overflow your joy in me that I may be a light to others.  Guide me and equip me to guide others.  In the name of Yeshua, Amen.