The crowning moment of any species, the culmination of its possibilities, can’t be just its ability to adapt and survive. Natural history demonstrates that entire populations peak and are then terminated whenever Mother Nature so decides. The great book of life simply closes out one chapter of creation after another once it no longer serves the need for which it was created. Nothing can resist these decisions, which are reached in a higher order of reality than the one they act upon.
To the casual eye, the extinction of a species, for whatever reason, seems like it takes a very long time. But a closer look at this process tells another story. Our scale of time is skewed by the short span of life we are each allotted on this earth. In truth, compared to the lifespan of our planet, an entire species—let alone an individual within it—can vanish virtually overnight.
When we view life through this kind of sweeping perspective, it may be hard to see how such a grand scale of life has anything to do with our individual lives. So let’s examine these ideas and make them very personal and specific to your life and mine.
For instance, of what use is our endless struggle to adapt and even achieve some of the more common culturally valued prizes knowing—as we all do—that nothing we can ever possess has the power to stave off our inevitable passing?
The following quotation from Vernon Howard, a great twentieth-century mystic, not only helps put this stark idea into proper perspective for us but, as we will see, also hints at a far more appealing possibility as well:
“It is wise to seek immortality, for time defeats all other ambitions.”
True spiritual gems such as this are scattered throughout time, found mostly in the forgotten treasure troves of authentic sacred writings. In the beautiful light they reflect is hidden a promise that is as welcome and timeless as our need to be reminded of it:
Within each of us already lives a higher order of being, an immortal spirit that neither time nor circumstance can cause to end.
Seated at the center of each of us lies buried a kind of celestial seed, buried there since the beginning of time. But this divine gift must be awakened—in this lifetime—before its fruit can be realized, for it alone contains life’s greatest prize: victory over death—a conscious connection to a vine everlasting that never dies. The expression of this fruition is inseparable from our freedom from the fear of death, even as our freedom from death is the same as finally fulfilling our highest individual possibilities.
The true purpose for the incarnation of Christ or any other authentic avatar, saint, prophet, or sage—regardless of his or her place and time of birth—is a single purpose expressed through two phases. First, to remind us of our lost heritage: we are children of a Celestial Being and within us dwells the seed of an immortal Self. And second, upon awakening to this forgotten heritage, to accept the responsibility that comes with it: to use our lives to help manifest the will of heaven on earth so that these two planes of existence, and their beings, may be reconciled and perfected accordingly.
The higher order of unconditional love and compassion, as evidenced by the selfless lives of saints and sages—acting as heralds of a heaven to come—proves the existence of a higher order of being awakened in them but still asleep within us. As such, the knowledge they disseminate is designed to help us awaken this celestial consciousness within us, much as sunlight acts upon a dormant seed, stirring it to open. All true spiritual masters are in concert when it comes to this last vital revelation; it is perhaps the greatest spiritual “secret” on this earth.
For any “flower” to live, the seed of its origin must die. It is a law: the latter must pass before the former can prosper and reveal its latent potential. Virtually all scripture, East and West, affirms this sacred teaching as expressed here by Christ:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
The hidden meaning of this oft-quoted, little-
understood phrase is as follows: the “corn of wheat” in this passage represents the spiritually asleep, unawakened human. The seed, in both instances, is just the first stage of its being; it is a herald of possibilities yet to be realized. As such, as is true with any seed, physical or spiritual, if it doesn’t succeed with its ordained task or somehow rejects its natural role, the very reason for its existence is rendered null and void.
We hold within us a sublime seed richly impregnated with divine possibilities; it is our greatest gift. Within it lives the promise of an immortal Self, a celestial citizenship in a world outside the prison and pain of passing time. But again—as is true of all seeds, regardless of their nature—each must find the right conditions and nourishment needed for it to flourish. Once accomplished, almost nothing can stop this seed from breaking free and stepping out of its confining husk. In that instant it is reborn into a new form; it enters into the next level of its being, and the journey begins anew.
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