Non-Dualism and the Lord’s Prayer

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The other day I was attending, for the first time, the Episcopal Church around the corner from where I live and we began to recite the Lord’s Prayer. And as I was reciting this famous, holy prayer, thoughts about the non-dualistic aspect of it began to race through my head; however, I had no time to actually reflect on each word but to take it in as a gestalt, to be latter reflected upon. So here it is. Is this the right interpretation? Of course not. It is just another perspective of how one reaches Awareness of God, or All That Is, or Whatever you want to call That which is the Source and Administrator of Creation and is beyond and unaffected by Its Creation. The God I speak of is beyond all words or attempts of the created mind to define the Indefinable.

Our Father, Who art in Heaven

Hallowed be Thy Name,

Thy Kingdom come

Thy Will be done

On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation

And deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever Amen

Our Father, Who art in Heaven

The use of Father dates back to the post matriarchal time, where the male impulse on the planet held sway, for whatever evolutionary needs humanity needed at the time. Today, there is the need for the male and female impulse to be equally honored and thus utilized, in both humanity as a whole and with each individual. I prefer, instead of the appellation Father, Mother/Father God in honor of Unity. Regardless, using a paternal name is in recognition that all of us are created by the Creator. In the Hindu tradition there are many aspects of the Divine that one can focus on: some will focus on the Mother, some on the Father, others on the Friend, the Child, the King or Lord. Yet by keeping the Father aspect as the Point of Reference, there is an important reason why it is wise to do so. The masculine aspect has the propensity to be able to be emotionally uninvolved or become one-step-backward in a situation. Just go to a playground and you will see a different reaction by parents when their child becomes hurt. In a generalization, the mother races over and holds the child to her bosom, while the father looks dispassionately to see if the child is really hurt or not. To reach Heaven there is a dispassion that is needed. If one takes everything personally one is simply entertaining the egoic mind, which is the little mind of separation. He did this to me and made me unhappy. This happened to me and now I am happy. Both of these attitudes are the same, for both have outside circumstances affecting how one feels. Now traditionally, worshippers of God the Father have seen Him as a deity in some faraway place called Heaven. However, from a non-dualistic perspective Heaven is a state of Unity Consciousness. It is not anywhere “out there” but “in here”; and since it is found inwardly, then, consequently, it is found out there. You have to go inside to the place of happiness that is untouched by any external circumstance. When that happens then everything is Heavenly because God is everywhere. If you look for God somewhere first, then God cannot be found, because God cannot be confined by anything corruptible, by anything that is being altered by time. “Seek thee first the Kingdom and everything will be added onto you,” the Master said.

So in a nutshell the first line says:

Rest in your Heart, where God resides, and look not outside yourself.

Hallowed be Thy Name.

In the beginning the Word was with God and was God. There are many ancient traditions that recognize the power of speaking God’s Name. In the Hebrew tradition, the Name of God is seen as so sacred that the true name cannot be uttered. Yet in other traditions uttering God’s name either aloud or inwardly is seen as invoking God’s Presence, and to keep a focus on God’s Holy Name is a way of keeping the mind anchored on the Infinite instead of the temporal. That is why one should not call God’s name in vain because then God’s Name is dissipated in a sense as to its special significance. But does it really affect the power of God’s Name and thus, subsequently, God? Not in the least, for nothing of the temporal can affect the Infinite, no more can a drop of water stop the tides of the ocean. I was initiated by a Holy Mother, Sri Karunamayi, with the Saraswati Mantra, where the Divine Name was written with honey upon my tongue, as a reminder that the tongue was created to speak sweetly of Divine things.

Speak God’s Name with reverence.

Thy Kingdom come

What comes must go, Ramana Maharshi reminded those who came to him speaking of visions and states of Consciousness. In other words, do not fixate on anything that is temporary but only on That which has always been and always will be. Yet in our linear way of looking at reality, with past and future, we have a tendency to look forward to things to come, that salvation awaits us at some distant time. But if Heaven is our salvation or freedom from suffering, the only place and time that is true and not fleeting is the Present, in the Here and Now. In the Hindu tradition Heaven, or swarga, is simply a level of consciousness where gods/angels and saints reside, but is seen as something that is not to aim for. It is simply a place where one’s merits are rewarded. It is not freedom, which entails residing in Awareness of the Permanent. I had a dream where Jesus told me that not only must I renounce hell but Heaven as well. In other words, abide in the Eternal that is beyond all levels. And didn’t Jesus tell his disciples and anyone who would listen to hear the good news, for the kingdom of God was at hand? Heaven was already there, it was just there awaiting those with eyes to see.

However, we live in a time where a level of Consciousness is rising, when we are beginning to see that our needs are found in the other, where a new paradigm is being created where the past paradigm, where survival of the fittest held sway, is passing away. It is a wondrous vision to hold onto and to invoke into matter, for that is the type of world that I would like my children to grow up in. Yet again, when my eye is single and I look into the world, then this Kingdom is not a future state but is already here, for everything and everyone shines in a holy light. That holiness is always here, for God’s holiness is true and cannot become truer. It is or it isn’t. And since we are all created by God, and God can only create like Himself, then we are all the same Essence of God, for Father and Son are One.

May you see Heaven here and now.

Thy Will be done

A Course in Miracles(ACIM) is very clear about this, that God’s will cannot be denied, and what God Wills is that His Son be as He is. God wills that His Son be happy, powerful and one with all of creation. It is done. It has been accomplished the moment the Son was created in the likeness of the Father. And there is no power that can usurp what God wills for there is nothing outside of God who is All That Is. What is outside of God is not real or true, for only God the permanent is True. What is outside of truth is nothing but a shadow and cannot affect God’s Son or Creation. That is why the voice of the ego, or Satan, which is nothing more than the thought of separation from God, a thought of believing one is only a body that is born to rot away, was told by Jesus to “get thee behind.” One does not follow a shadow because then one is not moving to the sun of Truth. Walking to the Light one’s shadow lies behind. When one is facing the sun, is one concerned with the shadow, those petty whisperings of a delusional mind? Know the Truth of your nature and be done with the falsehood of the ego.

Trust that God wants you to be happy.

On Earth as it is in Heaven

God is everywhere. There are no gaps of the omnipresent Lord, or God is not omnipresent. Just like when I play with my 5-year-old and I put on my “impenetrable force shield,” no matter what super weapon his mind conjures, since my force shield is impenetrable than nothing can penetrate it. The power of logic! My first teacher cast me out to the “outer rim of darkness” when I would not surrender to him-he who claimed to be THE Son of God. I was very distraught at the time and felt like Cain cast out from the Holy of Holies. But then God had different ideas and sent a little old lady to my side with an invitation to her home in Canberra, Australia, where she held ACIM study group. It was then that I was reminded that I am as God created me and can never get outside of Him, for I eternally dwell in Him, and He in me. I went back and confronted the teacher and told him that he had no power over me. I have also come to realize that the earthly pleasures and sufferings have no power over who I really am. At first upon my Spiritual journey I tried to fight against the worldly ways to become more holy. But the Earth has no power over Spirit and when one is united in awareness with God then all of Earth has God in it. Just as Quantum physics is revealing to our modern minds that there is nothing that is solid, that all is energy, and there is no separation between the observer and observed. We are not separated from the Earth, but we are separate in our awareness holding onto the idea that there is a world out there where we can become happier or miserable. So God’s will is for all of us to awaken to the fact that God is already here. This is the good news. We do not have to wait until we die to reach Heaven. And by being aware of God’s Presence then we create a Heavenly realm of co-creation.

Let joyous creation flow through you.

Give us this day our daily bread

Why bread and not our dream house or car or whatever it might be? We don’t need much, no matter what the commercials tell us. The American dream is nothing but a nightmare if that is your goal, your focus. It will only be emptiness in the end. If you look at the American culture where we work and work and work, both parents toiling away from home, the children being cared for by institutions, where is there time for quiet reflection, for listening to the presence of God who whispers: “How Holy is my Child.”? But we are so busy we do not hear and so we live meaningless lives. Look at St. Francis and how he took up the ways of the Master and lived so simply and brought our attention to God’s creatures whose needs God provides without exception. It is not holier to live a simple life, but it is easier to maintain. A Buddhist rule is to not have more than you can manage with a peace of mind. Some people are more adept at juggling many things-I am not. So I live pretty simply. I have tried to teach my children the very hard lesson that needing is not the same as wanting.

All that you need God will provide.

And forgive us our trespasses

We don’t need forgiveness from God for God sees only Himself-sees only the Truth. The separated mind of the ego believes that we can somehow usurp our divine inheritance in time and diminish the Eternal. How nonsensical. We are forgiven for we have been given our divine eternal Essence. “Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Of course they knew not what they did, for they thought they could actually kill the Son of God. But believing that they were bodies killing another body it reinforced the idea of body identification. Guilt is a great veil that covers the lamp of Love within us. It cannot extinguish it; only hide it from our Awareness. The Holy Spirit, according to ACIM, is the voice of forgiveness, reminding us that we are not bodies and that we are forever in God.

Know that God sees you as innocent, as you are created by Him.

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

The Holy Spirit gently blows a cool breeze upon our brothers when we ask to see past the temporal event that has seemed to have caused us pain, and seek to see the Christ in the other. What we give, so we receive. If we give the gift of forgiveness, not against a wrong, but for our misperception of not seeing the Beloved in our brother, then we receive the Awareness of Christ within. The Eternal cannot be touched by a little piece of time. Forgiveness is the bridge to Truth. Real forgiveness is not seeing someone who has done wrong to you and you magnanimously relieve them of their guilt. To see in such a way says what happens in time is real and can affect Spirit. To be born into Spirit is to know that nothing of the world can touch you. When Francis forsook his rich father and all his inheritance he said to him that he was born again into Spirit and had only one Father. The Great Spirit.

May you see the Christ in your brother.

And lead us not into temptation

What is temptation but believing that something out there can cause my Eternal Spirit, that is forever united with my eternal happiness, to be either less and more than it is. Temptation of focusing my attention on the temporal, instead of the infinite, just causes me to lose my Awareness of the truth. In a dream I watch dream characters do their thing, whether good or bad. There is usually a character I identify as me in the dream, but there is always a watcher of the dream, like one watching a movie. The watcher is never bothered by the activities of the dream characters, for it knows it is but a dream. Sometimes the me in the dream becomes the watcher and knows it is but a dream, and then the dream becomes a wonderful experience and can be altered to reflect the joy of that discovery. Temptation is just believing that our lives are what we are. And that in itself causes great mental suffering. Because believing in this body-dream death cuts us down like lambs to the slaughter. When the Watcher enters our Awareness, death is no more.

So should we just act in anyway we want to? No. There are actions that reinforce the idea of separation from our brother and from God. All religions give us guidelines how to act to help us come back to that Awareness. The only problem with some of these guidelines is that they become gods in themselves and people worship them instead of the Spirit behind them, and are used to justifiably judge one’s neighbor as well as oneself. There is really one simple rule, and the simpler the better-act in love. Be kind. Be filled with gratitude. See your brother’s need as yours. That is Love.

Let Love guide you in all your actions.

And deliver us from evil.

There certainly seems like there is evil in the world. Just look at the news every night. And your mind will certainly whisper constantly that something bad most likely is going to happen, for look how the world has been. The future follows the roots of the past. But when the mind is present and abides in God and hears the reminders of the Holy Spirit, evil does not exist. ACIM talks about the revelation. And the revelation is just that: The world is innocent. When you look upon the world, when that light of grace shines from your eyes, you will see that nothing has ever happened to the son of God, to you, to anyone. It is the most freeing experience in all the world, for it comes from beyond the world. Evil is just believing in what the senses tell you. Victor Frankl describes his revelation on a march when he was a prisoner in Auschwitz and he saw the clear glowing image of his wife: “Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way – an honorable way – in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, ‘The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory….'” Victor was delivered from evil, although he still suffered under the hands of his captors. But he became free.

May you see all actions with the eyes of Christ.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen

I guess there is some controversy as to this last line as it is said that originally it was only the power and the glory. I do not want to go there. What this says to me, regardless, is for us to recognize that God is the only Power in our lives and the more we recognize and have gratitude for God then we are able to manifest it in our lives in a glorified way. God dwells in our Hearts most and when we follow the urgings of our heart we give God glory. This power, being free of the world, can do anything. There are no laws but God’s, is a lesson in ACIM. There is no disease that cannot be cured, there is no dream that cannot be lived, there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome. ACIM talks about the true Creation, or the true kingdom of God, that is being manifested now and forever. You may think of this true creation as being in another dimension, a higher frequency to the one that we generally exist in with our dense judgment-oriented existence. Yet it is a dimension that we can glimpse in exalted states of mind.

May you express God’s power in all you do, in creating a beautiful world.

The Holy Spirit’s Prayer

Rest in your Heart, where God resides,

And look not outside yourself.

Speak God’s Name with reverence.

And may you see Heaven here and now.

Trust that God wants you to be happy.

Let joyous creation flow through you,

And all that you need God will provide.

Know that God sees you as innocent,

As you are created by Him.

May you see the Christ in your brother.

Let Love guide you in all your actions;

And see all actions with the eyes of Christ.

May you express God’s power in all you do,

In creating a beautiful world.

Amen. Om.

–Janaka Stagnaro Copyright 2010

write by Edna

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