Christian Yoga Part 12
The goodness and badness of things
One of the great statements in the New Testament is – “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Mathew 7-1).
Strangely the enormity of this is often overlooked. If used it can have an incredibly transformative influence in your life. So let me point out just one way it can be introduced as a way of dealing with pain and tension, and removing the blocks to surrendering oneself to the divine action.
Most Christians are taught to be forever wary of the evil, the bad, and the sinful. Unfortunately this turns into awful self–judgements. Such judgements about your own actions and the world continually create misery in you, and should stop. That is not to say you should avoid being aware of the results of your actions and of the actions of others toward you. In this way you can decide if that is what you wanted to create with your words and deeds. That is quite different to judging things as good or bad. Evaluation is a process of learning, but judging everything suggests that you are all knowing and all seeing. Give it up.
The process of judgements also flows into virtually everything you think about. We arrive at judgements about the value or otherwise of people, ideas, religions, and objects. This may be interesting and maybe, to deal with everyday affairs, may at times be useful. But to take such judgements seriously is like putting yourself forward again as all seeing and all knowing.
Take a few moments to consider this in your everyday life. Supposing you hold a cup in your hand – what do you suppose it is? How would you describe it? What is it made of?
Whatever your description, you may have left out details of who made it, how it was made, and just what skill with hands or machine shaped it. But also, what about its colour or how its shape connects historically and culturally? What about the chemical composition of its components, how they work together or conflict? What about the molecules and atoms that are part of that chemical constitution? Where did its atoms have their birth? Was it on some distant star and system, as many of the atoms of your body? Also, its sub-atomic particles – do they, as modern physics suggests, actually have a link beyond space and time, with all other particles throughout the universe? In fact does this simple cup transcend within itself all the ideas about time and space, death and loss that you take so seriously? Is this ordinary object an expression of the divine, leaping beyond all the boundaries you feel so trapped by?
Do you really know how to judge anything?
Healing of the Blind Man
The path of Christian Yoga is not simply about being inspired, it is about personal transformation, about giving birth to a new being, about being cleansed and healed.
In the New Testament one of the first things that Jesus does is to heal the blind man. This is an important statement. It declares that the power you open to can heal you. It can make you whole.
This possibility of healing does not need to be argued. It has proven itself and uncountable times. However, if you are one of the unfortunates who are trapped in view of the world in which such healing cannot take place, you may need some sort of proof, and some guidance as to where to look for such proof.
Kathryn Kuhlman held regular non-denominational healing services at Carnegie Auditorium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Seven thousand people crowded in regularly. The sick were carried in helpless on stretchers, and walk out. The maimed are healed, the dying given life. Take Paul Gunn, for instance; his case is on records at the PresbyterianHospital in Pittsburgh. When he was dying of advanced cancer of the lung, he attended a Kathryn Kuhlman service, and says, ‘Suddenly the power of God came down. It hit me and just for an instant the sensation of burning fire in my lung was more intense than it had ever been before. And then it was all over – just like that.’ Back at the hospital fresh X rays, lab tests and bronchoscopy showed no cancer whatsoever.
Kathryn Kuhlman often asked the vast assembly of people to concentrate their love and prayers on just one person. Considering that we create much of the physical world, our body included, with the power flowing through our body, mind and emotions, think of what is happening when 7,000 people all hold one idea for one person. The so called solid physical reality metamorphoses under the impact. (See: The Kathryn Kuhlman site.)
What happened to Paul Gunn was an immediate healing. This has happened to thousands of people all over the world when they opened to that unlimited power underlying your existence. But even if in your own case there is not an immediate healing, there can and will be a slower miracle when you open your life and being to the spirit.
Do not be hesitant about seeking this healing and wholeness. It is offered to you as a gift. It is given free when you seek your place in the scheme of things and are willing to become a part of that great body of Christ.
The healings described in the New Testament are true both physically and psychologically. The healing of the blind man represents not only the possibility of physical healing, but also the healing or removal of those things that blind us to your true condition – to your true place in the scheme of things – to the wonderful possibilities that are latent in you.
When Dr. Rebecca Beard experienced a heart attack, she was told by fellow doctors that the next attack might be the last. In her book Everyman’s Mission she describes what happens as follows:
When my colleagues – I being a doctor – said to me, ‘You must put your affairs in order, for you cannot hope to go through another heart attack and live,’ I was brought to such an extremity. There was nothing more to be done. There was nowhere to turn. Yet, when I sought help from another source, I was moving into unknown territory.
Up to that time I had faith of a kind, but like a great many people today who have been educated in material science, it was faith in an intelligence which gives rise to order and dependability of natural law. Whilst I knew that behind the everything was an unchangeable power and intelligence, I had not come to a place where I could actually touch that power intimately. Only when my physical need became desperate did I begin my outreach for this same power which I felt, instinctively, must be integral in the spiritual world.
It was very difficult. Everything I had tried to do seemed to be ending in a blind alley. I cannot say that I prayed for healing. I prayed for deliverance. As I went down on my knees for the first time in my life both figuratively and literally, I asked for contact with the order which I felt was in the universe about me. I needed an immediate awareness of the intelligence responsible for that order. I wanted the comfort and love and a sense of being cherished and cared for. Whether that contact brought life and strength back to my body or whether it took me on into further expression in another life did not seem much to matter at the time.
I had a deep sense of the on-goingness of life. The vehicle through which I was expressing might change, but I felt life itself would go on. I had a sense of its continuity – that it is always moving on, never stopping. So my plea was, ‘Either take me out of this expression which I seem to have snarled up so pitifully and put me into a fresh expression in which I can at least begin with parallel threads in my loom, or in some way, which is beyond my comprehension, untangle these threads and let me start afresh here.’
The illumination that followed was so profound that for hours afterwards I was scarcely aware of my surroundings. I could as easily have been transported to another realm as to have been there in the room that was familiar to me. Everyone had left the house for the day and the night. I was alone and uninterrupted. There was nothing to disturb the long silence and the almost unconscious state in which I struggled towards an unknown source of strength.
At first as I knelt by my bed and looked at the wall before me I saw a black cross outlined there. It was terribly black; there was no light in it. But as I groped and asked, light came into that cross, and it was not light similar to the light of combustion. It was not a flame. I recall clearly that the outline of the cross was never blurred or indistinct as flames would have blurred it. Nothing leaped over the edge of it. But it was white with a whiteness I cannot describe for there is no whiteness that I know that is like it. It was luminous and it was alive, but it was not fire or flames as we see them. Nor was the illumination only a visual thing. The change from black to light still stands as a symbol to me of the change that comes in people through conversion or through physical healing. It is a change from negative to positive, a change from the blackness of despair, frustrations and helplessness to the revelation of light in life, a glimpse of the reality – the real life – which is behind the observed life.
“Before morning came, I managed to get up and throw myself on the bed. I was there all the next day. I knew I was healed Moreover, I knew that the rest of my days would be given to witnessing to that light and to that power which was able to untangle the threads I had snarled and bring them again into order.
Dr. Beard was healed of her physical condition and her blindness to the possibilities resident in everybody.
Any act, thought, emotion or passion out of harmony with our own wholeness is a form of sickness, or contributes toward it. When the Light begins to flow through us more freely, our real experience of healing and teaching takes place. For every healer is also a teacher; and every teacher worthy of the name is in some way a healer. I mean by this that if we become more whole, even if we do not stand on the street corner and preach, we are a living example and an influence in the lives of others.
So the ‘gospel is preached to the poor’, if only to the poverty within ourselves. The poor are those who lack Life, are without or incapable of Love, and have no Power to grow in spiritual stature. The poor are the people who bemoan their fate; or those who can see nothing beyond the material objects of the world; or who feel life lacks a purpose and a wonder, for they are all without spiritual riches.
The ‘broken hearted are healed’. Jesus within tells us that only when we rigidly demand that love must come to us from one person in one way only, do we experience pain and desolation in our relationships. The sensualist may demand love must come only through the physical sex act; the heart-centred person may demand love must come only through the affections, and through just one person of their choice; the intellectual may demand that love must be a shared experience of ideas and concepts. In this way they shut the door to their own wholeness.
Love can come from a child reaching its hand to us. Love can flow between two lovers, skin to skin, wet with their own exuberance. A dog’s shining eyes call out love to us if only we listened. A flower casting its perfume on the air – authors giving themselves to us in their words – an artist, a musician – all creators, shower us with their love in their own reproductive acts. A husband who stands and irons, or holds the baby, is giving as much love in their own way as the one who caresses the breast. The teacher loves us by being there day after day.
So too the dentist, baker, doctor, coal-man, they all give us as much love as they are capable of releasing and we receiving. We only lose our loved ones in death by insisting they must love us exactly as they did before.
But Christ shows us how to open our being to Love as it exists in all its phases. Jesus ‘preaches deliverance to the captives’; for are we all not captives of social rules, fears, environment, education and the many other prisons?
The ‘blind are healed’, for we may be blind to the fact that Life constantly upholds us. We may not be able to see the wonder of our birthright, and our destiny as God’s children.
Sightless, we will deny that a great love and life are behind the entire visible universe. Blind, we may treat people and animals like ‘things’, ‘objects’, denying they have the same Life in them as we have in ourselves; denying they have the same feelings, destiny, awareness and need for love and encouragement as we have ourselves, in whatever degree they now show it.
The inner Light sets at liberty those that ‘are bruised’, for the events of our life, and the pain, or even agony, we may have experienced, often imprison us. Jesus heals these pains, releasing us from the influence of them. He preaches the ‘acceptable year of the Lord’, showing us that NOW is the time to claim our heritage; to start our journey from the swine pens to our Father’s house; to lift up our hearts and rise to our own possibilities; to yield to God’s influence.
What of the great healings? Are we all to be healed of leprosy or fever, as was Peter’s mother-in-law; paralysis; palsy; a withered hand; an issue of blood; deafness and dumbness; or to have demons cast out and be raised from the dead? Yes, we are.
Leprosy is our unclean lusts and desires, our thoughts full of filth. Such filth and lusts are only misplaced life energies. Earth from which wholesome food grows, is called dirt when it gets in a wound. So our emotions and thoughts, when used in the wrong way, or out of harmony, are capable of giving us an unclean soul. Jesus heals by denying nothing, but giving each its place.
A fever is our emotions when we live at ‘fever pitch’. It is the inner heat of passion and feelings when these are self-centred rather than self-sacrificed; when we are impatient and judging. They are the great burning emotions we have blown into a furnace from an ember by nursing our wrath; grieving an injury; magnifying a slight. Christ heals by bringing a wider view to our life, and showing us the result of our actions.
To be paralysed is to be unable to act or move in life because we have a guilt, shame or conscience that paralyses. Not realising or wanting to accept how we relate to the Life force, our actions against others, in word or deed, literally wound ourselves. The attitude of mind we use to hurt or speak ill of someone acts as a block to the flow of our own life stream, paralysing many of our functions. ‘For whatsoever ye do unto one of these, ye do unto me!’ The emotion we wield to injure another, turns in on our own life-giving stream and likewise wounds it. Thus Christ heals by saying, ‘Your sins are forgiven you – or – take up thy bed and walk.’ Life itself is the only thing that can forgive us the injury we have done it – and Christ in us is the mouthpiece for its love and forgiveness of us.
Palsy is a symbol for a disturbance of the natural function of the life stream in us. Such movements occur sometimes when a past event has shocked or hurt our nervous system; or when we have held on to a grievance from being deeply hurt or shocked physically and emotionally. The act of holding on to our hate, malice, or judgement of someone who has caused the injury or was not there to comfort us when we needed them, cause the pain itself to become built into our soul. This pain disturbs the action of the life stream in its normal expression as love, sensation of well-being, physical strength, creativeness and spontaneous inner wisdom. Similarly with a withered hand, for this represents our inability to act creatively, or to give and share oneself with others – to give others a ‘hand’ that supports, encourages or carries their load. Maybe our physical hands are fine, but how are the hands of our soul?
Many of us may also have, within our soul, an issue of blood. To bleed is to lose our life fluid, our physical life. To bleed from our soul is to lose our life force, in this case from the genitals, through misuse of sexual feelings, or of the creative function of childbirth. To give ourselves sexually when our inner feelings tell us to refrain, or to use abortion as a means of killing Life in us expressed as a baby, is to wound our soul and cause it to bleed. But Christ comes, as he says, not to condemn but to redeem. Not for the saved, but the sinners.
Most of us too, are deaf and dumb. For though God speaks to us in our dreams, through our sense of beauty, through our love, the seasons, plants, and all visible creation – and if we are unwilling to hear him calling us through these, he yet speaks to us through men who witness God’s presence in their own experience – through books, music, poetry and all our devices, yet we shut our ears. And if we do hear, we often choose not to act as yet another voice through which God can sing and talk.
Can you deny that your soul is sick unto death? Does it not have many of these soul sicknesses, or perhaps even more? Is your soul even dead within you?
A woman, told that God speaks to us through our moments of uplift or beauty said, ‘But I never feel that way.’ When streams of living laughter, wisdom, beauty and creativeness flow through us, our soul is alive. Lacking these, our soul is indeed dead, and Christ can raise it from this death even as was done with Lazarus.
Even if your inner voice shouts within you that Love, Light and Life can transform and heal your being you may prefer to believe otherwise. Yet you do so despite the failure which the worldly life demonstrates every day with its criminality, wars, dissatisfaction, meaninglessness and destruction. You are truly, like so many of us, deaf, dumb and blind to the proof God gives us every day. As soon as you allow the inner Light to illuminate you, all this can be changed, sometimes in the twinkling of an eye.
Starr Daily, a convict who discovered this for himself, the hard way, says:
I recall a time when I was being held in jail on suspicion of burglary. For two days and nights I had been subjected to ‘third degree’ police methods in an effort to torture a confession out of me. My head had been beaten with a rubber hose until it resembled a huge stone bruise, swollen beyond human shape, my face black from the congealed blood beneath the surface. Lighted cigars had been pressed against my flesh. I had hung for three hours with my wrists handcuffed over a hot steam pipe. My arms had been twisted behind me and my elbows beaten with black jacks until the bones felt crunchy. Heavy heels had ground my bare feet against a concrete floor.
On the third night of this I was at the end of my endurance. Again I was dragged into the torture room and sat down within the semi-circle of twelve big detectives. My previous sustaining energy of hate and anger had dwindled into a dull sense of indifference. I was alarmed at this new state of affairs. For I had learned that pain could easily be assimilated if sufficient hatred could be thrown against it. I did not want to weaken. Death was preferable. But could I stand the pain without the sustaining force of hate?
‘You’d better open up and come clean,’ the Chief informed me. ‘If you don’t you’re gonna get the works. You understand?’
“I continued to sit in stoic silence, expecting the worst, and wondering if I would be able to take it. It was the showdown. Unless I broke, my life was not worth a dime. I knew this as two of the detectives stepped toward me. Then a strange thing took place in my consciousness. All hate and anger were gone. The vague sense of indifference vanished. And in an unbidden instant, there welled up within me an overwhelming compassion for these men, for their pathetic ignorance, their undeveloped souls, for the pitiful condition of their minds and hearts. And as this strange sentiment reached a high peak of intensity within me the Chief spoke, and what he said constituted a minor miracle.
‘Don’t hit him again’, he barked, ‘take him back.’ I was returned to my cell, and for the remainder of the night was under the care of a doctor. The next morning I was transferred to a private hospital, where I lived for three weeks. Every day a number of women came to see me, bringing flowers and other gifts. It was all quite mystifying, and the nurses’ guarded explanations did not clarify the mystery. These women were the wives of city detectives. I could not figure the thing out. I was only a friendless, unprotected criminal. They had no reason to placate me with gifts and attention because they feared what I might reveal. I was told not to worry about anything, that all bills would be paid. Nor was I returned to jail on being discharged from the hospital. Instead I was given an envelope and told that I was free to go. In the envelope was no word of explanation, only five crisp, ten-dollar bills.
It was not until twenty years later, twenty years filled with crime and punishment, that I was able to see through this mystery, and to know the power, because of which my life had been spared and this odd consideration shown me.
What was it that finally showed Starr Daily the power of Love? It was Jesus! He says:
I re-entered prison for the third time with sinister ideas. Three times I tried to fight my way to freedom. The first two times were of the ‘lone wolf’ variety; the third involved group action, destruction and physical violence. Our plan was to cause a mob riot and during its height to seize the deputy warden as a shield and hostage, then under threats of death force him to give the order that would open the gates.
The plot was discovered and I was sentenced to the dungeon. The average time for a strong man in ‘the hole’ is fifteen days, at the end of which time the doctor ends the sentence. This time came and went. Finally, I collapsed. I seemed to be sustained by hate alone as I lay inured in the lowest hell earth had to offer.
Yet as I lay near death on the icy floor of the cell, a strange new thought came to me. I realised that I had been a dynamo of energy in everything I had done. I began to wonder what would have happened if I had used my powers for something other than destruction. It was to me a completely revolutionary thought!
What then followed is difficult to describe. I first began to dream disconnected dreams, and then they took on meaning. These dreams were the same I had as a child – beautiful dreams of Jesus Christ, the man I had tried to avoid for many years. He paused near my side and looked down deep into my eyes as though he were trying to penetrate my soul. In all my life I had never seen or felt such love.
Then I seemed to see all the people I had ever injured directly or indirectly, or who had injured me. I poured out love to them which seemed to heal their hurts. Then we were in a great auditorium and I spoke of love to all the people. I seemed to be assuring myself at the same time that I was awake and that I would never forget these words flowing over my lips.
When I consciously returned to my dungeon environment, the state of my mind had completely changed. The cell was illuminated with a new kind of light – the light of my own redeemed eye. Before that experience, I was a callused criminal; after it I was completely healed of my criminal tendencies! As a result, the prison doors swung open five years in advance of the time set for my release. (From Love Can Open Prison Doors by Starr Daily.)
This Light, Life and Love that heals us is everything that sentimentality is not. In its practical application love is as precise and scientific as mathematics. Without it there could be no universe, no cell, no organisation of any kind. Because love is the only integrating power in existence. It is all that can establish order out of chaos – or maintain order in chaos.
This is the power that can enter your life to heal, and flow through you to teach.
When the unfortunate tendency in humans began to organise Christianity, to place dogmas and rigid rules around it, Christianity had the misfortune to be scarred with battles between sects, intolerance of other races and cultures, and ruled by male authoritarianism. Nevertheless, I believe there is a real Christian Yoga in the sense defined above. Through it an individual can arrive at a greater personal peace, and harmonise with their own nature, without having to join any sect or give themselves to a rigid set of beliefs. They can also meet and converse with the master, and receive the teachings at first hand. This Yoga has been known for centuries, and practised by individuals and groups who were frequently persecuted by the organised church. In fact, the power and love that touched the early Christians has been innate in men and women from the beginning, and is lying dormant in each of us. This inner power is the MotherChurch, not build with bricks. We enter it and are transformed by following the Christian pathway, the Christian Yoga.