Opening to Love's Presence
Online Course

PART THREE

From The Laws of Love and The Power of Love

From The Laws of Love

The Spiritual Law of Oneness

The Spiritual law of Oneness states that anything that comes from God is of God. Anything that comes from the whole is
of the whole. Just as God cannot be divided, no expression of God can be divided. Each is whole and complete. There is
nothing lacking in any expression of God and all expressions of God are Good. This is the Law that gave birth to the creation
of Adam, the first human. That is what it means in Genesis when it says that God made man “in his own image.”
     Adam is number 1. He is the first. Yet he is also the archetype for the creation of all human beings. Just like Adam, every
human being has a son or daughter relationship to God. Every human being is of God and from God.
     We call this relationship to our Source “Singularity.” In the Kabala this is called the divine spark or essence. It lives in every
one of God’s creations. It inheres in every heart. It is the divine essence. When Adam was created, something of God was expressed. That is why we call Adam a Son of God. Jesus claimed the same relationship with God.
     But he was not claiming a special relationship. He was claiming the archetypal relationship that all sons and daughters have
with their Creator. There is nothing special about being a son or a daughter of God.

Be Ye as Little Children: The Experience of God

God, the Creative Essence of All That Is, cannot be adequately described. Yet even though we cannot adequately describe God using words and concepts, we can experience God. That experience is essentially MYSTICAL. That is the experience the prophets had. They experienced their oneness with God. They came to God with awe and respect, but not with fear.
After all, they weren’t really approaching “an other,” but their source, their creator. In the same way you come to God as a son or a daughter comes to a Father or Mother. You come with an open heart and mind seeking counsel, wisdom, guidance,  understanding and support.
     There is an intimacy here in the child—parent connection. It is a relationship of love, trust, and respect. This comes naturally
to the child, because the child accepts the essential good will of .the parent. As a result, the parent is an authority figure for the child. But that authority is conveyed spontaneously and joyfully.
     There is nothing here of “coercion” or “duty.” The child follows wherever the parent leads because the parent knows things the child does not know and the child is in the process of learning these things. When Jesus told us that we needed to “be as little children” in our relationship with God this is what he was talking about. We need to trust God and follow His direction.

The Kingdom of God is Within

Jesus told us that the kingdom of Heaven lies within. Yet many of us have undertaken a futile search to find God outside
of ourselves. That search frequently takes us into the arms of human authority figures who pretend to know something that
we don’t. When we realize they are just fallible humans like we are, we are pretty disappointed.
     After enough religious authority figures and their dogmas disappoint us, we finally get the message that no one else has
the answer for us. So we begin to look within for spiritual truth and guidance.
     We learn to come to God empty handed, to come to the altar with humility and respect. We learn to speak directly with God
from our hearts and to ask Him for guidance or help. That is what real prayer is all about. It is essentially heartfelt and sincere.
We can pray to understand, to accept, and to align ourselves with truth. Our prayers may not be answered right away, but
at least we know that we are in the only place where an answer, if there is one, could be.
     When you come to God in this way, you enter the inner tabernacle. You open yourself to the possibility of God’s love,
caring and direction. You open yourself to the possibility that, no matter how much you have struggled or suffered in this life,
you can connect with love and truth and bring your life back into harmony and alignment with spiritual law.
     There are many outer churches and temples, and you may or may not find them helpful to you. But in a sense, it doesn’t
matter where you stand on this issue. Whether you have religion or have rejected it is not important here. What is important
is that you turn to God within your own heart and mind. If you do that, you can open to God’s love for you and accept
the authority of His spiritual laws in your life.
     To do that is to claim your direct relationship with God as Jesus and all the prophets did. It is to say “I and the Father
are One” or I am “from God and of God.” It is to accept the fact that you are as much a son or a daughter of God as Adam
was.

The Inner Temple

The spiritual law of oneness says that the essence of you lives in God. It is “the way, the truth, and the life” you must align
with and follow.
     No one else can give you the answers or bring you to that truth. You must come to it voluntarily. You must claim your
connection with the creative essence within. The place where you make this claim is the real temple.   It is not an outer place. It is not a place in the world. It is a place in your heart and your mind. It is a holy place, because it is where you meet with God.
No other place in the world is as holy as this one, for in this place alone can you find sanctuary.

Inner Authority

When you find God within your own heart and mind, you will not give your power away to others nor will you seek to become an authority for anyone else. You will reject external authority and discover the authority within.
     The authority of all religious institutions and all of the managers and administrators who carry out their policies is essentially
artificial and false. The only true authority is the one that Jesus accepted. And that is the authority of God, which can be
known only in each person’s heart.
     Organizations exist in the world and operate according to worldly laws. In that sense, even religious organizations are secular. Therefore they cannot claim any higher or spiritual authority.
     There is only one true spiritual authority and it is not an authority that any human being can have over another. Authority that is imposed on one human being by another is essentially a secular authority and is spiritually false.
     The only spiritual authority is that of the Creator when it is voluntarily accepted by the son or the daughter. Jesus knew this. That is why he did not want to become an authority for us. Those who made Jesus into an authority figure did not understand this essential truth about Judaism as it was taught by its greatest teacher.
     When Jesus said “I and the Father are One” he didn’t mean that he was the only one who was one with the Father. He was describing the spiritual connection we all have with our Creator.
     Jesus never claimed to be the only son of God. That was the invention of others who didn’t have the slightest idea what Jesus
was talking about.

Which Authority Do We Accept?

There are two types of authority: Inner Authority and Outer Authority
     The first is Spiritual in Nature. It is the divine authority that lives in our hearts and to which we surrender or submit in order
to give birth to our spiritual potential.
     The second is Worldly in Nature. It is the authority of the secular laws of the world that we live in. We submit to these
laws in order to live in an orderly and peaceful way with other human beings.
     Both are important. And Jesus told us “Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and Unto God what belongs to God.”
The important thing here is that “Spiritual or Inner Authority” never comes from other men and women, not even from Jesus,
Moses, Muhammad, Buddha, or Krishna. Not a single one of us is asked to accept what any other human being says is true (no matter what authority he or she claims). Rather, we are each asked to find our own truth directly through our relationship with God. This relationship is holy and must be respected.
     Just as I have a right to a hallowed relationship to the divine and to act in concert with my inner authority, so does every other
human being. I must support that right in others if I want to keep it for myself.

Nurturing the Spark

Since God is whole and complete and we are from God and of God, we are whole and complete also. The essence of God is
in you and in me, for we are seedlings from the same tree. The divine spark lives in your heart and mine. We may forget
that it is there. We may get lost in the drama of the world and our busy lives. But the spark remains in the core of our being
and we can locate it and nurture it.
     Indeed, this is what spiritual practice entails. It is our communion with God in the silence of our hearts. It nurtures the
divine spark within and helps it to grow into a steady flame that sheds its light on all the dark places of our soul. It illumines
error and burns away untruth. It centers us and keeps us connected to our Source so that we can be in the world with
compassion for ourselves and others. This is how we give birth to our divinity while in a human form.

Unity Consciousness

Unity Consciousness is the state of consciousness that we enter into when we feel the presence of God within our hearts
and minds. In this state of consciousness, the Spirit of God dwells within us. . We may experience this as warmth or energy
in our heart center and as peace and tranquility in our minds.
     We live in the full depth of the present moment without any desire to think about the past or the future. In this moment,
we know that we are completely acceptable as we are and so is everyone else. We do not see any problems. There is nothing
that we need to change or fix. There is no lack or insufficiency.
     Everything is perfect as it is. Just as God looked at his creation at the end of the sixth day and said “it is Good,” so we look
at our lives and know that everything is “good” and acceptable just the way it is.
     The reason the Sabbath is important is that it sets aside a regular time each week when we can forget about the struggles
of living in the world and remember our connection with God.
     The Sabbath is an invitation to enter Unity Consciousness and to commune with God. If we do not do this at least once per
week, we tend to forget that God is but a hair and a breath away from us. We lose our sense of connection with our Creator. His presence—His light and His love—seem to leave our minds and our hearts.
     The earnest spiritual student will begin by making the Sabbath the holy day it was meant to be. But he or she will not
be satisfied with that. Weekly remembrance of God is the bare minimum spiritual commitment. The student who wishes to
realize his connection with God will make the observance of the Sabbath a daily ritual. He or she will find a time each day
for God-communion.
     What is our time in communion with God like? It is an experience of bliss for we feel gratitude for all of life and we are
blessing and loving all of it.
     In unity consciousness, we do not feel separate from God or from any of our brothers and sisters. This is what it means
when we say there is “heaven” on earth, for God is present in our hearts and minds.
     Jesus lived in a state of Unity Consciousness most of the time. Anyone who experiences her oneness with God moment
to moment every day can be said to have attained Christ Consciousness. For Christ means “a human being who is
joined with God.” The light of God shines in her eyes and the love of God emanates from her heart. Everybody who comes
into her presence can see it and feel it.

From The Power of Love

The Power of Oneness

There are two types of consciousness: Unity consciousness and duality consciousness. Unity consciousness blesses and includes. Duality consciousness judges and separates.
     We experience unity consciousness when we remember our connection with God. That is always an experience of ecstasy.
We experience duality consciousness when we forget our connection with God. That is always an experience of suffering.
     Unity consciousness can also be called Oneness or God consciousness. In order to experience this transcendent state, we
must turn our attention from the external affairs of the world and look within to encounter God’s essence within us. We do
this by getting centered and breathing, usually with our eyes closed. We do not seek the Kingdom of Heaven outside, but
within our heart of hearts.
     When we take time to connect with God, we come into our center. We feel God’s presence there. We may experience this as
energy or warmth, or simply as a deep peacefulness. In these moments of connectedness, we feel loved, accepted and blessed.
And we get in touch with our capacity to love ourselves and others unconditionally.
     In many Eastern religions, daily meditation practice is considered essential. In many Western religions, daily prayer or
reflection is encouraged. Taking time each day to enter the silence of our hearts and commune with God is perhaps the
most important of all universal spiritual practices.

Daily Spiritual Practice: Communion With God

Today and every day this week, you are asked to spend at least 15 minutes going into the silence to commune with God. Many
people find it easiest to set aside this time when they get up in the morning before they move into the demands and expectations
of their work or family life. Others prefer to take this time at night before going to bed. Choose a time that works best for
you and then let that time be your daily appointment with God.
     Keeping the same time every day is important because it helps you build this practice into your life. You are creating a
new foundation for living, so build it clearly and solidly. All other practices in this book build on this daily practice, so
please do not move onto the other practices before you have integrated this one into your life for seven consecutive days.
     Choose a beautiful spot in your home or in nature where you won’t be interrupted. If you wish, build a simple little altar—a
few stones gathered together—or a candle with some flowers or incense if you prefer. Create a space that feels holy to you.
Begin to do some deep breathing—inhaling and exhaling through your nose for a count of 5 or 7 or whatever feels relaxing
to you. On the inhale let yourself remember “I am taking this time to center within my heart of hearts, to connect with the core of my being, where the Spirit of God resides” and on the exhale tell yourself “I am letting go of any worries or stressors
that stand between me and my deepest peace. I am coming to God empty and open.”
     As you breathe and center, feel the warmth and peace of God in your physical body. Feel the warmth of unconditional love
and acceptance in your heart center and the spaciousness and grace of God’s openness in your mind. Let “Spirit” move within
you, filling up every cell of your body and moving through your skin to surround you and anyone else whose life you share.
     Dwell at peace in this moment. If judgments come, just acknowledge them gently, but know that you are not these judgments.
Stay in the energy and the radiance. Commune with God as though you and God are the only ones there. Let yourself be
in the consciousness of “I and the Father are One,” as Jesus was.
     As much as possible, remember your oneness with God throughout the day. Whenever you get drawn into the drama
of life, step back and remember your connection. You and God are not separate because the Spirit of God lives in you and
through you.

Extending Silent Communion Throughout the Day

As your daily practice takes root, you will find that you are able to re-experience this communion with God throughout the day.
Sometimes, just closing your eyes and breathing deeply will enable you to reconnect to the energy of unconditional love and
acceptance in your heart, removing you from the push-pull drama around you and restoring your inner peace andequilibrium.       
     The practice of “Remembering God” thus becomes an act of remembering the truth about yourself. You can quicken this
process by taking five minutes out of every waking hour to close your eyes and re-enter the silence. This 5 minutes of God communion becomes your little mini-retreat from the world and sustains God’s presence in your life throughout the day.

Stepping into Love Communion

If you have trouble connecting to God and your essential Self, experiment with the following process of “Stepping into Love
Communion.” We enter into Unity consciousness by accepting life as it is right now. To help you enter this state of unconditional love and acceptance, allow yourself to sink into the awareness reflected in the following words:

  • I can accept myself as I am right now.
  • I can accept others as they are right now.
  • I can accept life as it is right now.

These words are not affirmations to be mindlessly repeated. They are not magical formulas. They are statements of truth that
represent a certain level of consciousness to which you can attune.
     Saying these words if you don’t believe them is an exercise in futility. So let yourself sink into the consciousness of the words
before you attempt to say them. Breathe with the words. Mull them over. Turn them around and let them weave into your
consciousness right now. When you feel willing to do what the words say, then they have meaning.
     So be with them until that willingness comes. That is what it means to attune or to “vibrate with the words.” Then continue:

  • I am loveable and can receive love right here and now.
  • Others are loveable and can receive my love right here and now.
  • Love can be fully present in my life right here and now.

Let this sink in. When it has, then continue:

  • I am the bringer of love.
  • Without my presence and my willingness to let love come through me, love cannot be.
  • Without my presence, love cannot be.

Let this sink in. Breathe into this awareness. Love comes from you, not from someone else. Then continue:

  • I cannot bring love to myself or others if my heart is not open.
  • I am willing to breathe into my heart and feel it open right now.
  • I am willing to be open to the healing power of love.

Be in the consciousness of these words until the words dissolve and only their resonance remains in consciousness. Then
you will experience the ecstasy of love communion.
     You might find it helpful to write these words down and carry them with you in your wallet or pocketbook. That way
you will be able to use them not just in your formal 15 minute meditation, but throughout the day when you are thrown off center and need to come back into connection with the Source of Love within yourself.

Results of this Spiritual Practice

     Gradually, as we anchor in the practice, we feel a greater sense of connection to God and our own Spiritual Essence. As a
result, our overall disposition begins to change. Our mental-emotional states increasingly reflect the awareness that:

  • God is with me
  • I have love inside me and I can connect with it
  • I don’t always understand life, but I can accept it
  • Every moment is new and brings an opportunity
  • I am learning to trust

Summary of Practice : Take fifteen minutes to be in silent communion with God today and each day of the week. Extend this
practice throughout the day as much as possible.

Paul Ferrini
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