Stage Four: Recognizing Unity
Dramatic change continues in Stage Four. The consequence of discovering our unconscious (Stage Three) and its link to our behavior helps us realize there are higher and different forms of awareness. We notice we have various mental states that are tied to our emotions and what we believe to be true about ourselves. Some of these aspects of our interior life are spiritual, but not all. Through our improved ability to see what were previously invisible social structures, we also recognize that there is an underlying unity to life. The same values are expressed in different people in different ways. Some of the external events in our lives no longer cause a change in our internal response. We can “rise above” some things because we have a perspective that has developed from our experiences over time. We now have the ability to recognize our intention prior to acting, and we can alter our behavior if it does not match our value system. The link between truth, love, and higher values is now associated with God and God is less “out there.” We sense an internal link to God through our higher values. Our relationships are no longer one-dimensional. We realize we are in relationship with human beings who have interior lives and motivations, some very close to ours. The things we previously did out of loyalty are now open to question. The unity we see and experience is understood to come from God, our higher values, and the depth of our relationships with others. We seek to join aspects of our external life with our internal spiritual condition and integrate our spirituality into all areas of our lives.
If we are in Stage Four:
- We begin to understand that our interior life is evidence of different parts of our true being, that our material mind is connected to a higher form of consciousness. We learn how to separate the spiritual from other mental states.
- We recognize the difference between internal and external causes and the phenomena associated with those causes. (For example: Internal fear and anger result in the phenomena of sullen behavior in some persons, or aggressive behavior in others.)
- External phenomena and mental impressions don’t always cause a change in our awareness because our self-awareness is constant. We notice our internal reactions, and they do not always result in an external reaction or change in behavior.
- We recognize the elements of unity that exist in all things.
- The teachings of spiritual masters we once thought we understood now take on new and deeper meaning.
- Faith as belief is replaced with an intuitive understanding related to how we see and interact with the world; our attitude and understanding of God changes. We recognize more of the transcendent qualities of God.
- Devotion to God is integrated with devotion to truth, love, and peace.
- The universe as a system of energy and consciousness that is realized in human form emerges.
- During devotion we recognize the potential of unity/oneness during specific ritual practices.
From The Readings
2011-90 You know to trust the path that you are on. Many things have been set before you and you continue to choose a path that builds for you. In choosing the path that you have chosen, you set the intention. All the changes in your life are the consequence of this decision. You do not need to be afraid or concerned about when or how you work, but that you do work, and that you do pray and prepare, that you meditate to set the environment—this preparation, when complete, is the antecedent to all the work that you wish to do. All the components of your life must be in harmony: the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. Do not underestimate the physical well-being that is necessary for your work.
2011-140 Every moment of awareness has a purpose. When you feel something in the moment of awareness, it is calling your attention to that feeling. If the feeling is an absence, it is calling attention to the feeling, but the person has to be aware of what is in the moment. Each person receives a seed that has been planted by God. And for each person, each person’s awareness is to grow into that consciousness, that awareness that you identify as Christ consciousness. Though God is present in the body in the form of the life that grows, that takes shape, there is the need of each being to help grow the consciousness—the conscious awareness that is in the body and in the mind and in the spirit. Each being grows in awareness during the life. As the body changes, the awareness grows. This connection is so close between the body and the awareness of God that it will feel as if it is physical. Your awareness is growing in such a way that you do not need to feel any concern or anxiety, but your body will have certain sensations, and sometimes your mind will associate thoughts with those bodily sensations. The being can control the body and the sensations at an advanced level, but this takes learning and development. Do not fear the changes or the awareness. Over time all these feelings and the awareness will be in service to God. You can call up inside the body, raise inside the body, the awareness; however, the physical feeling, and what happens in the consciousness will feel erratic until there is more development. It is like this for everyone. You are being prepared, and though in some ways you have arrived in your place of purpose and work, you will constantly be prepared for greater work. Do not underestimate the effect that you have on other people, especially on their awareness. Even though not all awareness is associated with God by human beings, it is always intimately connected to God, like a God-awareness. Not just an awareness of God, but an awareness of the world through the human being. This is why it is not always important that you personally witness your faith in God in ways that overtly speak to the spiritual nature of life in human beings. Your presence alone can help cultivate awareness. When you are alone and you look inward, you sometimes will feel anxiety. This is because there is not always integration of things that are considered or felt to be separate to your being. There is a continuity that exists between every physical object and the mind of God, the awareness of God. This continuity also exists at the mental and spiritual levels, and there is also a connection and continuity between the physical and the mental, and the mental and the spiritual. In the words of Jesus, and in the life of Jesus, you see an increasing pattern, a pattern of increasing awareness, of increasing alignment and oneness. The pattern is the way of Jesus. He speaks about the way. But you must understand that part of the way that he describes is what he demonstrates through his ministry and his life, not just his words. So we have the pattern of the growth of consciousness, the growth of awareness. Here is the lesson for you and Jeffrey.
2012-03 Spiritual forces, for Jeffrey, sometimes feel so much like they are not of his ability to manifest and change things. This is a crude representation, but you might think of the light inside of a sphere that expands like a balloon. The surface of the balloon is very sensitive material that absorbs impressions from the world, in the more material components of reality. And so the surface expands and grows. The light inside continues to cause this expansion and growth, just as the life force of God enters the body and causes it to grow and develop according to God’s plan. And the life that’s reflected through the sphere is unique according to the designs and the patterns of the material experience. And then you reflect the light or alter it or filter it, creating shadows. We sometimes feel like we are those shadows. The light that comes through is so strong that it makes the surface of the sphere seem nonexistent, yet this sphere is like the lens of our perception. The more whole the lens and the sphere, the more we see the front and the back and bottom or the up and the down, the sides and the light. The more things in the universe are presented on the sphere and the light continues to shine through the sphere, altering the patterns, the combinations. In many ways the human mind is like the sphere. It senses the light coming through it, but often it only perceives the external world. Turning its perception inwardly, sometimes the light is too bright, too difficult to see, to look at. When the right combination of things occur, when the right experiences have been completed, then there is a change in the tone, in the spiritual tone of the light, in the sphere, which is manifest in the attitude of people, in this case, in Jeffrey’s attitude.
2012-04 Spiritual competency and spiritual maturity do not always manifest in a way that the world can understand. This is because the first order, or the first purpose of a spiritual manifestation functions inside the individual. These revelations can be prematurely given to others. Virtually all spiritual revelations, when improperly given, become improperly understood. These revelations usually contain images and symbols or constructions of the human mind that seem fantastic and otherworldly, especially when they are described with words. There may be times when these things manifest themselves through dreams or visions, and they may be recorded, but they are for the reflection foremost by the individual receiving the dreams and the revelations. Do not be seduced by the beauty, nor repulsed by the grotesque nature of some of these revelations. One of the most difficult aspects of what you will learn is to have patience. The simplest spiritual exercises will produce results in human beings. The simplicity and the application work in such a manner that what is simple in design helps maintain the spiritual perception of the individual in a state of freedom. In a material sense, these practices and the results that they produce take a long time to master and to manifest transformation. This process, as mastery develops, can accelerate. There may not be a perception of change or capability by the soul. One example that we can give is that human beings use concentration and focus in order to create or manifest material things, to develop skills, or to learn professionally the way to do something in the same sense that one follows a recipe. But spiritual development, though often linked with material manifestation, operates in a different manner. The discipline and focus of the individual soul is to hold an openness and acceptance and a release, such that God’s creative capacity and power will manifest in the form most beneficial in the moment. The holding and the discipline and the focus are capacities that are meant to prevent the ego or other aspects from interfering with the pure manifestation of God’s revelation and intent, and then again for the spiritual capacity of the soul to be able to release this spiritual manifestation to whatever purpose and intention according to God’s original creation. It is the opening, the holding open, the creating of a channel, and then the release without identification with what is finished—these are where the spiritual discipline functions.
2012-163 There are things about your work that are just beginning to come into manifestation. There is a tendency to think that you are finished or that it is close. There is still work to be done in the material realms but more importantly, work to be done in the spiritual realms. It can be easy to feel discouraged, or feel that things will never finish. But you can look in your own lives and know that this is not true—even in situations where something can be done and it is not understood to be finished until later. It is an important question to ask, as you finish the material aspects of your work, it is important to ask if what you have before you expresses the proper intention and the proper attitude. This is important work for Jeffrey, because the intention and the attitude do not always give the same result. With each class, each meditation, each learning, you and Jeffrey bring an attitude and an intention to the process. The outcome of the process is not your responsibility. This is where the other person participates and must take ownership. This is why your interior life is so important—your prayer and your meditation—because this is where your intention and your attitude are strengthened and developed. It is where they become flexible and attentive, or they can become rigid and difficult. Work on expressing the intention and the attitude, and expressing how those who participate can develop an understanding of their responsibility and effort.
2013-18 Understand that the material world always deconstructs, and that various points of energy recombine in ways that can show gain or loss in different ways. From a material perspective, there’s no bridge to the spiritual perspective. By this we mean there’s no spiritual understanding possible if only the material change is observed or seen. Everything manifests spirit. Only the human mind evaluates one form of energy or spirit differently than another form of energy or spirit, when in truth all spirit and all energy come from God.
2013-68 For so many people who seek a greater spiritual awareness and a union with higher powers, the higher power at present comes to them in the form of knowledge and skill, and greater self-power and self- awareness. It is but a small step to move from this to an understanding of the integration of the powers of the universe, the powers that you call transpersonal—the integration of these powers with the powers developed and grown inside the person through their own effort.