Thursday, May 10, 2012
The Divine Scintilla of the Spirit
Below are the teachings of Joseph Anton Schneiderfranken. You will find, in them, the teachings (also) of the Catholic Church on purgatory, and the teachings of the early Fathers on what "hell" is. Hell is losing one's "sheep" (personality - the memory of one's struggle). If one's sheep is lost, the continuity between one's eventual reunion with God & one's mortal life disappears, because one did build wisely. Thus, it is quite true to say (in a sense) that hell is eternal for the person - those who go their suffer the second death. It is also quite true to say that "they" shall be saved, but not "they" in the sense of their earthly "work" (either externally or in their personality). What will be saved is "the spirit in man that answers God" and which can no more be destroyed than it can be saved against its own will. The spirit in man will return to God by an inexorable law - fire returns to Fire. This burning will either take the personality with it (if one has labored in the Christian mystery and sacrament of Christ) or it will be vaporized eternally, because it had no existence of itself to begin with. Read for yourself...it rings very true.
(My comments bolded in single sentences)
"Paradise Lies Under the Shadow of Swords" because "Heaven is Taken by Storm". What "storm"? He who does the violence of silencing the mind:
The "force" one needs is not a burst of labored "will," nor painfully effected "concentration," but simply a continuously watchful, resolute rejection of the mind's obtrusive interference; a taming of its arrogant ambition to play the judge in matters it can never comprehend, and in domains from which it is forever barred. To hold the mind in check, however, becomes an absolute necessity if one is to achieve the inner calm and the serene detachment, which are a precondition if all our energies and senses are to be transformed to willing servants of the God within, who is the source of our life and being. If, in other words, the timeless self in mortal man is to arise from its material sepulcher: born anew within the Spirit, as the living form and likeness of its "Father," who has his "heaven" in that newborn self.
To be sure, the mind can, like a draft horse, help us to move forward on our quest, provided we have trained it to that end. Nor is it wrong to think about and intellectually consider what we have spiritually come to know--after the experience. In other words, to build ourselves a logically constructed mental storehouse, a "treasury" in which the jewels of our inner life are carefully preserved. Indeed, without creating such a store, the insights of our spiritual life, the gems of our innermost experience, would actually be in danger of being lost to us in the activities of daily life. They would be scattered to the winds, instead of gaining form and structure and thus enriching our life.
But never must we make the mind our guide when, in the dawn of our first uncertain glimmer of eternal life, we set out on the quest for that which is, for all of us, the everlasting, inextinguishable source of being; our final origin and home; the most incomprehensible of mysteries surrounding our self: the "jewel in the lotus flower."
The Mind is Not Our Home, but is a tool-
As a reliable pathfinder, the mind will follow tracks that lead to insights as to causes and effects within the world of mortal sense perception. And here one certainly should trust it and give it every opportunity to develop its potential; because the intellect as well originates in the divine and, in its proper place, will serve its owner well.
However, if our goal is to experience God, we must not search outside ourselves. And that includes the hidden region of the outer world that many think of as an "inner" realm, simply because their mortal senses can no longer apprehend it. Moreover, even if the human spirit were to search for God eternities on end, and in the highest worlds of Spirit, it never would encounter God as such, in any place outside. For just as in the universe of matter one cannot anywhere uncover nature's underlying energy itself, in isolation, while yet this very energy is manifest in every atom of creation, so too the Godhead only manifests itself within and through the spiritual entelechies it has engendered of itself. In each entelechy the Godhead manifests its being differently and in uniquely individuated form. But nowhere is the Godhead found as such and by itself, not even in the Spirit's highest realms.
The World is Mediated at all Levels, because God is the Mediator
It is within ourselves alone that we must finally discover God in his eternal all-creating life. However, to be able to discover God within ourselves, and not create some mental idol, and thus fall prey to self-imposed illusion, we here must follow the advice to those who have already found their conscious life in God: helpers who have freely offered all their energies to God, as servants of his will, and thus became united with the eternal source that formed them in its image.
It would, of course, be foolish to expect that here on earth, where life is subject to completely different laws, one might encounter--in visible, material form--the highest spiritual entelechies whose self is unified with God. Nor, for that matter, will the human soul be ever wholly free of mortal bonds while it remains attached to its material body. Consequently, even a soul that in this present life has unified itself with God, and thus gained mastery of all its faculties and energies, which then it dedicated wholly to God's service, will never be completely rid of mortal bonds. And even at the highest level of development in life on earth, it only can attain the lowest form of spiritual union with the Godhead. Indeed, even the already God-united soul that serves a Luminary--a mediator of eternal light--as voice and vessel for his task, could never on its own ascend to any of the higher levels of the Spirit's worlds to which it has been granted access.
It is true that, in this planet's spiritual dimension, there also live entelechies at infinitely higher planes than they could reach if they were still encumbered by a mortal organism. But these sublimest beings have either long ago discarded their material forms, or never had been subject to a body's limitations, because they had not known the "fall" from light, to which embodied spirits had succumbed.
According to eternal laws, however, we can perceive these highest beings only from within. And only the completely God-united soul of mortal man is able, under certain very rare conditions, to behold and hear them.
Only the Pure in Heart "See" God
Extremely rare, indeed, are situations under which a human mortal, who still is shackled by the laws of physical reality, can actually perceive these spiritual immortals. Without number, on the other hand, are here the possibilities of self-delusion and one could hardly count all the reports of people who saw no more than phantom images, but felt convinced some spiritual being had manifested its existence to their mortal senses.
All but impossible to overcome would seem the notion that "clairvoyants" are able to perceive these spiritual immortals. And thousands, for that reason, want to learn how one becomes "clairvoyant," because they think developing this sense would let them witness spiritual life by virtue of their inner senses.
However, one can neither "learn" to be clairvoyant, nor have clairvoyants ever seen things other than the planet's lower, "astral aura," whose phantom shapes, and typically deceptive denizens, are anything but spiritual in origin and substance.
There are methods, to be sure, by which one may so frivolously overstimulate the human organism's faculty to generate hallucinations that it will let a person see or hear, as tangible, if mock reality, whatever is desired. A person thus deceived may well experience "insights" that interweave reality and error in bizarre confusion. Indeed, he may have visions of the grandiose mirages formed by other minds, or witness self-engendered phantom shapes, and so become convinced of their concrete "reality." But who could doubt that such a "seer" should be pitied far more even than a genuine clairvoyant, who typically is born with his precarious gift and will at least perceive events of actual, if physical reality, even though he may feel certain that he sees dimensions of the Spirit.
It is a thoroughly mistaken attitude to think that one is searching for the Spirit, while at the same time hoping that one shall fairly soon be granted more or less concrete material proofs of the existence of the Spirit's world.
Seek, You Will Find - You always find what you look for - what you are. So meditate on what is good, true, beautiful...
For one thing, it would not spiritually advance a human mortal in the least even if all worlds within the radiant substance of the Spirit clearly stood before the person's eyes. For another, even centuries of constant dialogue with the sublimest beings in the Spirit's world would never make the person rise a single step above the level where the colloquy began. Nor, for that matter, ought one to assume that any human spirit will at once be able, after having shed its mortal form, to discern the Spirit's life on all its many levels.
Within the worlds of Spirit one only can perceive and comprehend what corresponds to one's own nature and one's level of development. And even human spirits who are completely unified with God's eternal life cannot, within the Spirit's realms, ascend beyond the plane that will conform to their own state.
Whenever need arises, there will be spiritual beings who descend from higher planes of being, to offer insight into facts that are disclosed to them. Such is unavoidable, for instance, when a Luminary--a mediator of eternal light--is to be united with his mortal individuality. For beings living in a higher sphere can make the sacrifice of leaving their abode a certain time in order to descend to lower planes. Spirits on a lower level, on the other hand, would in effect destroy themselves if it were possible that they attempted to ascend to spheres above their level, for which they are not yet prepared. (The lower mental influences which anyone is able to receive do not originate within the Spirit, but in the physical domain, albeit its invisible dimension.) All these things are governed by inexorable spiritual laws, and those who truly are the Spirit's own will gladly bow to what these laws demand.
The radiant Light of the Beginning, which shines in all creations of the Spirit, has wisely veiled its blinding rays for the protection of all those who are not yet sufficiently united with the Spirit to be able to endure the living light of God's eternal essence.
For what, indeed, would human mortals benefit if they were able to behold the Spirit's life before they had themselves been wholly integrated with the Spirit?
It would only cause them unimaginable torments. Indeed, no pain in hell invented by sadistic human minds could match in cruelty what any human consciousness would have to suffer if it were able to behold the Spirit's life before its own eternal essence had been united with the Spirit and, thus, were given the ability to take its active part in that eternal life.
One thing alone is needful: to offer--readily and without mental reservations--to the Spirit, to our Living God within, every element within our soul, every sense and feeling of our body, every resolution and intention of our mind: to act as servants to perfect ourselves. In order that God's timeless Spirit may thus, in time, unite itself with our human consciousness and, of itself, return to us anew these very elements and senses, resolutions, feelings, and intentions to be henceforth our own attentive servants, after we have been prepared to master them by virtue of the radiant spiritual scintilla which, in ourselves, eternally brings forth our very life and being.
That is the kind of worship all must needs perform who do not want to lose their mortal human consciousness at death, but take it with them into life beyond; not just for seemingly unending ages, but for all eternity.
"Work while it is day; for the night will come when no one can work any longer."
Here, in this present life on earth, the human being still is able to perform that "work." After having left this physical domain, however, the individual shall find itself in the particular condition it had created for itself through life on earth. And now that human consciousness must passively abide until, without its being able any longer to affect its fate, its soul has, sooner or later--perhaps, in human terms, after aeons having passed--at last attained sufficient inner clarity to make it possible for helpers in the realm of Spirit, whose substance is alive in God, to reawaken in that soul the consciousness of its divine scintilla, of its eternal Living God. Then only is the human spirit free to give its will a new direction, and only then can it resolve to offer all its energies to serve its Living God. This resolution finally will bring about the integration of the person's individuated consciousness with the eternal consciousness of God's creative Spirit. And this essential integration cannot be effected any other way, not even by an act of God's own will and grace.
However, at that distant time the human being shall long have lost all memory of ever having lived this mortal life on earth, whose contents will have vanished like a dream that has escaped from its own self.
Purgatory, Heaven & Hell are real Spiritual States
Although that human spirit now is "saved," it never shall be able to recall again its former life on earth, with all its goals and aspirations, its happiness and its consuming toil. In short, that spirit failed to gain the prize of victory; for it did not attain the singular expansion of its conscious life that those acquired for themselves who can recall their cosmic journey through even the remotest realms of being wherein God's presence can reveal its very self and nature.
To be sure, that spirit, too, shall then have finally become a form and vessel for God's Spirit and, being reunited with its eternal male or female counterpart, shall live the Spirit's radiant life in the abundance of eternal joy. But infinitely higher is the kind of self-awareness of those who are alive in the eternal Spirit, but still possess the faculty of recollecting, in all their endless bliss, the consciousness of having once experienced the very lowest depth of being, to which they had descended in their former life as mortal creatures in the realm of matter.
Even as a native of the flatlands may be overcome by feelings of profoundest awe in face of the majestic grandeur of the world's great mountain ranges--sentiments which those who live there do not always fully comprehend--so also can the true extent of inner joy be understood by only those who still are able to recall the consciousness of the abysmal depths they once had known. And as the human spirit rises to ever higher levels of eternal life, albeit in the course of aeons, the less shall it be willing to give up the faculty of recollecting the very deepest levels of existence in its past.
Spiritual life, by virtue of its very substance, remains eternally immutable within itself. As a result, the spiritual ascent that lies before the human soul can never cause the slightest change in the essential nature of the divine creative core by which that soul is given its eternal life.
The Living God within the human being's inmost self, with whose eternal consciousness the human spirit may unite itself already in this present life, remains eternally the same, on every level of the Spirit's life that one can reach through all eternity.
Man will be burnt by fire, and his works will not survive (if of himself)
What does expand in fact is only the condition of the human soul: the state of consciousness the human spirit has within its timeless soul. And so that spirit rises to continuously higher forms of consciousness, and thus is able to experience forever widening infinities of spiritual life.
If it merely were a question of creating--by virtue of the soul's dynamic elements--any kind of individuated consciousness around a person's life-begetting spiritual core, then all the urgent striving to unify one's consciousness with the eternal Spirit already during mortal life would be entirely unnecessary. Given that, according to eternal laws inherent in the Spirit's life, that integration can still be accomplished in one's future life, even if that should require ages. The sole exception would be cases in which a human consciousness condemned itself to total dissolution.
The waking call of all authentic spiritual guides in human history went out, however, precisely for the reason that the soul's sublimest joy through all eternity resides in its retaining full possession of its mortal consciousness and, thereby, having the ability to recollect its former life on earth. Another reason for that call, however, is the fact that conscious integration with the Spirit during mortal life will spare the soul immeasurable suffering, which it may otherwise have to endure once it has left its mortal form.
To show mankind the way that leads the human spirit toward such greatly heightened joy, by sending it appointed guides, has been the task of those in every age by whose authority I, too, now make these insights known. And every word this book contains has but a single aim: to teach its readers the significance of real worship.
May no one who will read these words depart this earthly life of toil and pain before his consciousness has been united with his Living God!
May none fall victim to the "night," when his capacity to "work" must cease. The "night" from which there can be no escape until the captive's debt has been repaid "to the uttermost farthing."
There still is time--the "day" is not yet spent--and willing hands are offered to all who earnestly seek help and guidance. There is no need for special "schooling" to attract that inner help, nor can personal assistance make that help one's own.