Wednesday, July 06, 2005
The Meaning of Praying Without Ceasing
"'...By deeper ecstasies the freed soul then withdraws itself from the little causal body and puts on the vastness of the causal cosmos. All the separate eddies of ideas, particularized waves of power, love, will, joy, peace, intuition, calmness, self-control, and concentration melt into the ever-joyous Sea of Bliss. No longer does the soul have to experience its joy as an individualized wave of consciousness, but is merged in the One Cosmic Ocean, with all its waves—eternal laughter, thrills, throbs.
"'When a soul is out of the cocoon of the three bodies it escapes forever from the law of relativity and becomes the ineffable Ever-Existent. Behold the butterfly of Omnipresence, its wings etched with stars and moons and suns! The soul expanded into Spirit remains alone in the region of lightless light, darkless dark, thoughtless thought, intoxicated with its ecstasy of joy in God's dream of cosmic creation.'
'A free soul!' I ejaculated in awe.
"'When a soul finally gets out of the three jars of bodily delusions,' Master continued, 'it becomes one with the Infinite without any loss of individuality.'" Autobiography of a Yogi
I was inspired to go for a long walk yesterday at Richmond Park. Getting to Richmond from where I live is a trip in itself let alone Richmond which is huge. It's not a park I'm familiar with and I've only recently been exploring it. Going by the hovering clouds, it looked like it was going to start pelting it down, but I also knew that above the clouds there is the boundless blue sky. It was going to be a good walk. As I walked I felt like I needed to use the toilet. That's all I need, wait till I'm in a forest and this happens. I so wish I was an animal who can just do his business wherever and whenever the need takes him. Where am I going to find public facilities? Are there any?
I then remembered to raise myself to Universal Consciousness, realise that there is only One, therefore, there is only One taking this walk. I expected my body, the weather, nature, everything to be in harmony with this walk. I relaxed and let the Spirit lead me on my walk. In this state of total surrender, I'm like a dog on an invisible leash being tugged in the right direction. I felt a tug to take a particular path which I did. I continued walking until I arrived at a car park. Another tug pointed me to a map of the area. I checked where I was and whether there were any public lavatories. According to the map there was one close by. I asked a man who had just appeared if he knew where. He didn't, it was his first time exploring the park. Another tug took me down a path where I found myself in front of a building. Why am I here? A metaphysical knock on the head opened my eyes and I saw the word "Toilets." Wow, I've found the loos! Er, I mean, we've found the loos! Thank you! They were one of the cleanest public toilets I've ever been in. I then continued on my walk. There was another reason why I was inspired to come on this walk, which I shall write about in another piece.
A few days ago while I was thinking about Oneness, I had an idea to share with my mother that she should never leave God out of anything she does, even when she takes her tablets. I had a feeling she would be receptive to this idea. When I arrived home I asked her if she was OK and whether she'd had fun on her day trip, which her church had organised. She said they'd done a lot of walking and now she was in agony. She said while she was waiting for the bus, she was in so much pain she didn't think she would be able to move when the bus arrived. Then she prayed and asked God to at least get her on the bus. She was grateful that the bus was delayed and by the time it arrived, she was well enough to walk into it. During the journey she wondered how she was going to walk from the bus terminus to her house, about 5 minutes walk away. When she got off the bus she saw someone who looked like me and thought that I could at least help her, but it wasn't me. She prayed again asking God to get her home.
"That's excellent mum that you prayed and got results," I said. "But why did you stop praying?"
"What do you mean?"
"Can't you see?" I said. "You asked God to release you from the pain so you could get on the bus and walk home, why didn't you ask God to release you from the pain while you are at home? Why are you still in pain?"
It was as if my mother had called upon God in an emergency and after that had been taken care of, she said "It's OK God, I don't need you anymore. I'll take it from here." At least mum saw the funny side and we both laughed over how stubborn the human will is.
"Surely God who is all-knowing must know our needs without having to ask?" mum said. "Why do I have to keep asking for healing?"
My mother had raised a good point. Why would God want to see people suffer when he could easily help? Let me first of all address her point about God knowing our needs. This is what Jesus has to say about this:
"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6: 31-33)Remember on my walk I had a human need that needed taking care of? I then raised myself to Universal Consciousness where there was only One taking that walk. The One/Father knew my human need. In realising oneness, I was one with all public lavatories, and I was led to the closest one. I believe raising one's consciousness to the One is what the scriptures refer to as
"Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5: 17)
Praying is a constant realisation that there is only One Life, One Love and One Will. Thus, the One takes care of whatever needs to be taken care of because you are one with that need.
Back to my mother's question, I am very much aware that her church doesn't teach about oneness in the way I understand oneness. She believes that the only way to God is through Jesus. There's no point me suggesting she is one with God, which is going against her Methodist belief. I could only tell her that we should all realise that we can't do anything without God; one can achieve this by praying and thanking God for helping you every step of the way.
When you leave God out of your affairs, you are saying you are self-sufficient. In the case of my mother, she's walking on her own power. But when you realise God is the only life, you could walk for miles without feeling tired. Walking with God is like being driven to your destination.
Just because we choose to be independent doesn't mean God punishes anyone. God is not human that sits in judgment and thinks "Aha, you suffer because you haven't asked me!" God is always ready to meet you where you are at when you call out, but we must continue to call on God for help.
Why do we have to continue to call on God? Isn't it enough to call once and that takes care of us for eternity? Well God doesn't go away, He is always present; but so is our ego, the self that loves being independent. It is the independent self that likes to take over. Another reason why we need to call upon God is because appearances can be very deceptive. Let's say you have a cushy job that pays well and takes care of all of your material needs, you're likely to start believing the job is your security. What if you lost your job tomorrow? I believe when you persistently call upon God you are realising that no matter what the appearances, your security is only in the One.
Praying without ceasing is a constant realisation that only One exists.