Compassion Is The Antidote To Suffering

compassion

Living in separation is by definition a state of suffering, but the antidote seems to be compassion.

One of the revelations offered for study in the November-December session of the Free School of the New Message from God is called The Separation. The entire first month of this session–God, Cosmology and Creation–is devoted to this revelation, whereby those participating are asked to read it and listen to it repeatedly. This is very sound advice because, personally, I have found this revelation to be a hard nut to crack. It has taken repeated reading and rereading, listening and listening again to even begin to gain an inkling of what is being conveyed here. I am trusting what it says in the introduction of the Study Plan for this session and wish to acquire the self-understanding, insight and compassion for the world around me it promises.

“The perspective and insight provided to us by this month’s revelation on our core condition of Separation is a true gift. It has the power to generate enormous self-understanding and insight and compassion for the world around us.”

You can listen to part of this revelation here.

This week, the third week of the session, I am asked to search out all the references to “suffering” in the revelation and ask myself what light this sheds upon my experience in life so far. The word “suffering” appears a total of eight times in The Separation, four of them in the same paragraph. It was this particular paragraph that struck me as I studied this teaching. And I must say that I felt very affronted. I do not like to think that I am not aware of how much I am suffering because I do not know what it is like to be free of it. Even the state I call “normal” is a state of suffering, I am told.

It is then all a matter of time, and time here can be equated with suffering, the suffering you experience to various degrees every day of your life. You do not even know how much you are suffering because you do not know what it is like to be free of it, except perhaps for brief moments here and there. Even your state you call “normal” is a state of suffering—a state of apprehension, concern and anxiety; a state overshadowed by the difficulties of life and the great change that is happening in the world at this time.

I do not like to think that living in a state of separation from Creation, my Source and my deeper nature means suffering to one degree or another every day of my life. I would like to think there is some redeeming grace, some antidote. And I find there is.

Compassion is the antidote to suffering

Another practice this week asks me to choose someone I know or know of and put myself in their position, seeing and feeling how they are suffering (or have suffered) from the effects of the Separation in their lives and affairs. This, of course, is an exercise in compassion, for when I switch the focus from my own suffering and observe other people’s suffering, I am filled with compassion.

The way I now see it is this. In separation I suffer because my focus is inevitably on myself. But my life is not about me, it is not about getting what I want, it is not about self-fulfillment, it is not about being better, more beautiful, more successful, more loved, more appreciated. Instead, it is about touching others and the way in which I touch them.

My steps of the past two days have been Step 121. Today I am Free to Give and Step 122. I Give Without Loss Today. These steps call for thinking of others and giving them something they need, something I would like to receive myself. For what I am asked to give can only increase as I give it. What came to mind for me was to give compassion. I wish to treat myself with more compassion and I can only do that by showing more compassion for others.

I am getting the idea that compassion is the antidote to suffering.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Beyond Fear Lies The Truth

beyond fear lies the truth

Touch drawing by Deborah Koff-Chapin

I am happy to accept that beyond fear lies the truth. However, I have this presumptuous notion that I know what fear is all about. I am currently on Step 51 of Steps to Knowledge: “Let me recognize my fears so that I may see the truth beyond them” for the second time.

When I did this Step the first time, I wrote in my journal:

“I feel as though I understand fear, its mechanism and how it influences people – it prevents people from being who they really are since it restricts them, it prevents people from thinking in expansive ways, it keeps them boxed in. Fear clips the wings and prevents people from taking risks and reaching their full potential. I have worked with my fears and feel the reality beyond them. Fear will not stop what is going to happen to me, it will happen anyway. The thing is to boldly face fear and step through it, believing that the outcome will be much greater than I ever imagined. It is the same as following a path I had no intention of taking and finding myself right where I need to be, stepping out of my comfort zone and being prepared to face whatever awaits me. There are imaginary fears and real fears. Fear is defeating and debilitating, it freezes your ability to respond adequately, thus reducing your chances of success. Metaphorically speaking, in order to walk a tightrope, you have to lose your fear of falling.”

After these bold words, I did have the foresight to add:

“All in all, however, this is a difficult Step to grasp. Perhaps I don’t understand fear at all because I have not been in situations that bring up fear. I am asking for clarity about fear.”

Beyond fear lies the truth

Can I say I have more clarity about fear the second time around? I still accept that beyond fear lies the truth and I receive confirmation of this.

The New Message from God revelation called “The Separation” speaks perfectly to this dilemma. There I read:

“To understand the reality of God and God’s work in the world and in the universe around you, you must understand your own situation clearly, for you are living in a state of separation, in a physical reality, in time and space.

“You are living in separation from your Source and from Creation itself, which exists beyond the physical reality entirely. You are living in a temporary reality. It is impermanent. It is changing. It is expanding. It is chaotic. It is governed by its own laws and dynamics.

“You are a spiritual being living in a physical reality.

“To become really true to yourself and right with yourself, you must gain access to your deeper nature, which is still connected to Creation, still connected to that Greater Reality from which you have come and to which you will return.”

I think that coming to understand this separation, realizing the limits of my current situation, i.e. that I am living in a state of separation, is the key to recognizing my fears and seeing the truth beyond them. I recognize that my fears are born of this changing, chaotic state that I currently live in, so they are as impermanent and temporary as it is. But I have a deeper nature, a nature still connected to Creation, to my Source, to a Greater Reality, and in this state of consciousness fear has no place.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

I Am A Unique Expression Of A Greater Reality

Unique Expression of a Greater Reality

I am a unique expression of a Greater Reality, but I did not understand this when I first reached Step 13. I Want to Be Separate to Be Unique. I did not understand that separation here means separation from God. This implies that I want to be separate because I think being separate makes me unique, so I reject the idea of being part of the Oneness of God. But I am a spiritual being and I am aware of this, so I do not want to be separate. I admit to being confused.

I found help with my confusion in the New Message from God revelation entitled “The Separation,” which says:

You are a spiritual being living in a physical reality. This accounts for your dual nature and the fundamental conflict and confusion that permeate your mind and activities.

Despite my confusion, however, I did have the presence of mind to write the following question in my notes: “Could this mean that I must express my unique gifts whenever I can, contribute my own individuality to the greater whole?”

Another quote from “The Separation” seems to answer this for me.

God redeems you through the power and presence of Knowledge within you. Knowledge will prepare you to become a contributor to life so that your real, unique gifts can be given where they are needed.

I Am a Unique Expression of a Greater Reality

Now I have found a good analogy, something that helps me understand this separation/uniqueness paradox. I am a piece in a jigsaw puzzle. I am unique, but I am only of value when I take up my place in the bigger picture, when I make my unique contribution to the larger whole, when I am a unique expression of a Greater Reality.

I take great comfort in what other people, people I would call men and women of Knowledge, have to say on this subject.

Margaret Mead said, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

Edgar Cayce often reiterated the idea of Oneness in his work. His readings are filled with different ways to express the same concept: Know yourself…to be yourself…and yet part of the whole.

Step 13 says, “Your physical life demonstrates a separate life but only from a certain point of view. Given another point of view, it does not demonstrate separation at all. It demonstrates a unique expression of a Greater Reality.”

Accepting this as the truth, I am free to embrace this uniqueness, I do not have to be separate to be unique, rather I am a unique expression of a Greater Reality.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

I Dare To Approach My Source

I Dare To Approach My Source

Coffee for Mister Yves Klein: Photo by Photographer Floriana Barbu

When I say that I dare to approach my Source, I mean I am willing to do what it takes to overcome my ambivalence and doubt, to overcome my cowardice and arrogance, to understand my separation and embrace my desire not to be apart from life. The inner knowing that it is Knowledge that will reveal my Source is what draws me irresistibly to Steps to Knowledge.

Step 11 “I Am Not Apart From Life” first addresses the concept of separation and tells me that I am an individual unaware of my Source and my total inclusion in life. I can accept this and that my task is to become aware of my Source and total inclusion in life. However, my immediate question is, and how precisely am I supposed to do that?

One of the revelations of the New Message from God, The Separation, is dedicated to this very topic and is full of very thought-probing statements. I get the inkling that becoming aware of my Source and embracing my total inclusion in life is going to take quite a bit of effort when it says:

“You are a spiritual being living in a physical reality. This accounts for your dual nature and the fundamental conflict and confusion that permeate your mind and activities. It is the result of separation fundamentally, for you cannot yet be who you really are in this world and life without undergoing a great preparation.”

I Dare To Approach My Source

There is something about Chris Rea’s song “The Blue Café” that pulls at my heartstrings with its haunting melody and soul-searching words.

My world is miles of endless roads 
That leaves a trail of broken dreams 
Where have you been I hear you say 
I’ll meet you at the Blue Cafe . 
This is where the one who knows 
Meets the one who does not care 
Cards of fate, the older shows 
The younger one, who dares to take 
The chance of no return 

I think it is because I identify with the one who doesn’t care (read: the one who thinks she knows it all) who meets the one who [really] knows and wants to go with him. In essence, if I put myself in her place, I am admitting that I am lost and don’t know which way to go. I am willing to leave behind my arrogance, my thinking that I know it all, for I do not wish to be apart from life. I am unaware of my Source and my total inclusion in life, but I want to experience this. The one who knows warns that it will not be easy, I must be prepared to take the chance of no return (undergo a great preparation). I must dare to approach my Source.

Where have you been? 
Where are you going to? 
I want to know what’s new 
I want to go with you 
What have you seen? 
What do you know that’s new? 
Where are you going to? 
‘Cause I want to go with you 

I think this is the key to overcoming separation and not being apart from life. We have built great establishments for ourselves in this world to bolster our individuality, to give our separate lives structure and physical form, to remain within the limits of time and space.

The cost is great, the price is high 
Take all you know, and say goodbye 
Your innocence, inexperience 
Mean nothing now 
‘Cause, this is where the one who knows 
Meets the one who does not care 
Where have you been I hear you say 
I’ll meet you at the Blue Cafe. 

But we are spiritual beings with no form or boundaries to hamper and limit us. Do I dare to approach my Source and go with the one who knows? Do I dare to step out into the mystery of life? Do I dare to embrace my oneness with Source and take the chance of no return? For if I do, there will be no looking back. Once I acknowledge that I share something with all life, I cannot go back to being separate and unique.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.