Personal Reality, Session 674
Affirmation means acceptance of your own miraculous complexity. It means saying “yes” to your own being. It means acquiescing to your reality as a spirit in flesh. Within the framework of our own complexity, you have the right to say “no” to certain situations, to express your desires, to communicate your feelings.
If you do so, then in the great flow and sweep of your eternal reality there will be an overall current of love and creativity that carries you. Affirmation is the acceptance of yourself in your present as the person that you are. Within that acceptance you may find qualities that you wish you did not have, or habits that annoy you. You must not expect to be “perfect”. As mentioned earlier, your ideas of perfection mean a state of fulfillment beyond which there is no future growth, and no such state exists. (See the 626th session in Chapter Five, for instance.)
“Love your neighbor as yourself”. Turn this around and say, “Love yourself as you love your neighbor”, for often you will recognize the goodness in another and ignore it in yourself. Some people believe there is a great merit and holy virtue in what you think of as humility. Therefore to be proud of oneself seems a sin, and in that frame of reference true affirmation of the self is impossible. Genuine self-pride is the loving recognition of your own integrity and value. True humility is based upon this affectionate regard for yourself, plus the recognition that you live in a universe in which all other beings also possess this undeniable individuality and self-worth.
False humility tells you that you are nothing. It often hides a distorted, puffed-up, denied, self-pride, because no man or woman can really accept a theory that denies personal self-worth.
Fake humility can cause you to tear down the value of others, because if you accept no worth in yourself you cannot see it in anyone else either. True self-pride allows you to perceive the integrity of your fellow human beings and permits you to help them use their strengths. Many people make a great show out of helping others, for example, encouraging them to lean upon them. They believe this to be a quite holy, virtuous enterprise. Instead they are keeping other people from recognizing and using their own strengths and abilities.
Regardless of what you have been told, there is no merit in self-sacrifice. For one thing it is impossible. The self grows and develops. It cannot be annihilated. Usually, self-sacrifice means throwing the “burden” of yourself upon someone else and making it their responsibility.
A mother who says to her child, “I gave up my life for you”, is speaking nonsense. In basic terms such a mother believes, no matter what she says, that she did not have that much to give up, and the “giving up” gave her a life that she wanted.
A child who says, “I gave up my life for my parents and devoted myself to their care”, means, “I was afraid to live my own life, and afraid to let them live theirs. And so in ‘giving up’ my life I gained the life I wanted.”
Love does not demand sacrifice. Those who fear to affirm their own being also fear to let others live for themselves. You do not help your children by keeping them chained to you, but you do not help your aged parents either by encouraging their sense of helplessness. The ordinary sense of communication given you through your creaturehood, if spontaneously and honestly followed, would solve many of your problems. Only repressed communication leads to violence. The natural force of love is everywhere within you, and the normal methods of communication are always meant to bring you in greater contact with your fellow creatures.
Love yourselves and do yourselves just honor, and you will deal fairly with others. When you say “no”, or deny, you always do so because in your mind and feelings, a present situation, or a proposed one, falls far short of some ideal. The refusal is always in response to something that is considered, at least, to be a greater good. If you do not have too-rigid ideas of perfection, then ordinary denial serves a quite practical purpose. But never negate the present reality of yourself because you compare it to some idealized perfection.
Perfection is not being, for all being is in a state of becoming. This does not mean that all being is in a state of becoming perfect, but in a state of becoming more itself. All other emotions are based on love, and in one way or another they will relate to it, and all are methods of returning to it and expanding its capacities.
Now throughout this book I have purposely stayed away from the word “love”, because of various interpretations often placed upon it, and because of the errors frequently committed in its name.
You must first love yourself before you love another.
By accepting yourself and joyfully being what you are, you fulfill your own abilities, and your simple presence can make others happy. You cannot hate yourself and love anyone else. It is impossible. You will instead project all the qualities you do not think you possess upon someone else, do them lip service, and hate the other individual for possessing them. Though you profess to love the other, you will try to undermine the very foundations of his or her being.
When you love others, you grant them their innate freedom and do not cravenly insist that they always attend you. There are no divisions to love. There is no basic difference between the love of a child for a parent, a parent for a child, a wife for a husband, a brother for a sister. There are only various expressions and characteristics of love, and all love affirms. It can accept deviations from the ideal vision without condemning them. It does not compare the practical state of the beloved’s being with the idealized perceived one that is potential.
In this vision, the potential is seen as present, and the distance between the practical and ideal forms no contradiction, since they coexist.
Sometimes you think that you hate mankind. You may consider people insane, the individual creatures with whom you share the planet. You may rail against what you think of as their stupid behavior, their bloodthirsty ways, and the inadequate and short sighted methods that they use to solve their problems. All of this is based upon your idealized concept of what the race should be – your love for your fellow man, in other words. But your love can get lost if you concentrate upon those variations that are less than idyllic.
When you think you hate the race most, you are actually caught in a dilemma of love. You are comparing the race to your loving idealized conception of it. In this case however you are losing sight of the actual people involved.
You are putting love on such a plane that you divorce yourself from your real feelings, and do not recognize the loving emotions that are the basis for your discontent. Your affection has fallen short of itself in your experience because you have denied the impact of this emotion, for fear that the beloved – in this case the race as a whole – will not measure up to it. Therefore you concentrate upon the digressions from the ideal. If, instead, you allowed yourself to free the feeling of love that is actually behind your dissatisfaction, then it alone would allow you to see the loving characteristics in the race that now escape your observation to a large degree.
There is nothing more pompous than false humility.
Many people who consider themselves truth seekers and spiritual are filled with it. They often use religious terms to express themselves. They will say, “I am nothing, but the spirit of God moves through me, and if I do any good it is because of God’s spirit and not my own”, or, “I have no ability of my own. Only the power of God has any ability.”
In those terms you are the power of God manifested. You are not powerless. To the contrary. Through your being the power of God is strengthened, for you are a portion of what He is. You are not simply an insignificant, innocuous clump of clay through which He decides to show Himself.
You are He manifesting as you. You are as legitimate as He is.
If you are a part of God then He is also a part of you, and in denying your own worth you end up denying His as well. I do not like to use the term “He”, meaning God, since All That Is is the origin of not only all sexes but of all realities, in some of which sex as you think of it does not exist.
Affirmation is in the spontaneous motion of the body as it dances. Many churchgoers who consider themselves quite religious do not understand the nature of love or affirmation as much as some bar patrons, who celebrate the nature of their bodies and enjoy the spontaneous transcendence as they let themselves go with the motion of their beings.
True religion is not repressive, as life itself is not. When Christ spoke he did so in the context of his times, using the symbolism and vocabulary that made sense to a particular people in a particular period of history, in your terms.
He began with their beliefs, and using their references tried to lead them into freer realms of understanding.
With every translation the Bible has changed its meaning, being interpreted in the language of the times. Christ spoke in terms of good and bad spirits because these represented the people’s beliefs. (See the 647th session in Chapter Twelve for related material.) In their terms he showed them that “bad” spirits could be vanquished; but these were, then, symbols accepted as realities by the people – sometimes for quite “normal” diseases and human conditions.
The very term, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19 and Mark 12:31), has been grossly misinterpreted.
Christ meant, “You form your own reality. Those who think thoughts of peace will find themselves safe from war and dissension. They will be untouched by it. They will escape, and indeed inherit the earth.
Thoughts of peace, particularly in the middle of chaos, take great energy. People who can ignore the physical evidence of wars and purposely think thoughts of peace will triumph – but in your terminology the word “meek” has come to mean spineless, inadequate, lacking energy. In Christ’s time, the phrase about the meek inheriting the earth implied the energetic use of affirmation, of love and peace.
As I mentioned in Seth Speaks, the Christ entity was too great to be contained in any one man, or for that matter in any one time, so the man you think of as Christ was not crucified (See chapters Twenty-one and Twenty-two of Seth Speaks.)
Nor was the idea of self-sacrifice then involved. The myth became more “real” than the physical event, which of course is the case in many so-called important historical events. But even the myth was distorted. God did not sacrifice his dearly beloved son by allowing that son to be physical. The Christ entity desired to be born in space and time, to straddle creaturehood in order to serve as a leader, and to translate certain truths in physical terms.
Each of you survive death. The man who was crucified knew this beyond all doubt, and he sacrificed nothing.
(“In Seth Speaks you said that Judas arranged for a substitute to be crucified in place of Christ himself –“)
The “substitute” was a personality seemingly deluded, but in his delusion he knew that each person is resurrected. He took it upon himself to become the symbol of this knowledge.
The man called Christ was not crucified. In the overall drama however it made little difference what was fact, in your terms, and what was not – for the greater reality transcends facts and creates them. You have free will. You could interpret the drama as you wished. It was given to you. Its great creative power still exists and you use it in your own way, even changing your own symbolism as your beliefs change. But the main idea is the affirmation that the physical being, the self that you know, is not annihilated with death. This comes through even in the distortions. The whole concept of God the Father, as given by Christ, was indeed a “new testament”. The male image of God was used because of the sex orientation of the times, but beyond this the Christ personality said, “… the kingdom of God is within (among) you” (Luke 17:21).
In a certain way the Christ personality was a manifestation of the evolution of consciousness, leading the race beyond the violent concepts of the times, and altering behavior that had prevailed to that time.
In terms of time – evolution as you think of it – emerging consciousness had come to the point where it delighted so in distinctions and differences, that even in small geographical areas multitudinous groups, cults and nationalities were assembled, each proudly asserting its own individuality and worth over the others. In the beginning in those terms, man’s emerging consciousness needed the freedom to disperse itself, to become different, to originate bases for various characteristics, and assert individuations. By Christ’s time, however, some principle of unity was necessary by which this diversification would also experience a sense of unity and feel its oneness.
Christ was the symbol of man’s emerging consciousness, holding within himself the knowledge of man’s potential. His message was meant to be carried beyond the times, but this interpretation is often not made.
Christ uses parables that were applicable then. He used priests as symbols of authority. He turned water into wine, yet many who consider themselves quite holy ignore Christ at the wedding feast and think any alcoholic beverage degrading.
He “consorted” with prostitutes and the poor, and his disciples were hardly men that would be called city fathers. Yet, many who consider themselves religious people hold on to respectability most of all. Christ used the vernacular of the times and in his own way spoke out against dogmatic ideas, as well as temples that pretended to be repositories of holy knowledge but were instead concerned with money and prestige. Yet many who consider themselves followers of Christ now turn against the outcasts that he himself considered brothers and sisters.
He affirmed the reality of the individual over any organization while still realizing that some system was necessary. His whole message was that the exterior world is the manifestation of the interior one, that the “kingdom of God” is made flesh.
There are indeed lost gospels, written by men in other countries in that time, relating to Christ’s unknown life, to episodes not given in the Bible. These formed quite a separate framework of knowledge that could be accepted by people who had different beliefs than the Jews at that time. The messages were given in other terms, but again they reflected the affirmation of the self and its continued existence after physical death. Love was always stressed.
One of the Gospels is counterfeit – that is, it was written after the others, and the events twisted to make it appear that some of them happened in a completely different context than they did. Regardless, Christ’s message was one of affirmation.
It was not Mark’s or John’s. There are particular reasons why I do not want to specify now.
At the time, Christ united man’s consciousness in ways that reached out into history. The Christ consciousness was not isolated. I am speaking in your terms now. The same consciousness gave birth to all of your religions, therefore; the various frameworks through which the peoples of different times could express themselves and grow. In all cases the religions began with the beliefs prevailing, spoke through the dictums of the times, and then expanded. Now this represents the spiritual side of man’s evolution. The idea-frameworks of psychic and mental life were far more important than the physical aspects as the species grew and changed.