THE CHRIST: Our Kingdom-Within
Compiled, Edited, and Written
There will be no marriages in heaven.
The Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking.
PART ONE: The Kingdom of God/Heaven
PART TWO: Our Kingdom-Within
PART THREE: Testimonies to Our Kingdom-Within
PART FOUR: Mystic (Pure) Experiences of The Kingdom-Within
PART FIVE: The Pauline's Spiritual Basis of Christianity
The Author's Interpretations of Our Kingdom-Within
This book is meant to be a precursor to the consolidation of our psychological and trans- cendent conscious transformation, happening fairly rapidly in our times – a transformation that goes beyond knowing to understanding, beyond reason to intuition, beyond our self-love to our Love-self; a transformation in which justice and wisdom gradually take the ascendency over injustice and ignorance through Love in all its inclusive meaning. For this transformation to take form, there has first to be a major shift, a revolution, a new paradigm, in religious consciousness, especially in Christianity.
This form takes an inward, personalized, focus so that religion becomes internalized, spiritualized. And this inwardness for us Westerners has its origin in Jesus Christ himself; yet, historically, has been placed in the background of the Christian religion when it should be, must be, from this time forward, placed in the foreground. Its outward manifestations (theol-ogy, ritual, clergy, and the like) have had their purpose for all these hundreds of years; but has now to be surpassed by its inward purpose, as Christ intended it to be.
This placement is simply Christ's elemental message that the "kingdom of God is within you." As to what this kingdom is, is specified in one statement made in the gospel of John: "God is love which is as much to say identically that Love is God (since God is understood to possess no attributes, such as love being an attribute of God); In which case, the kingdom of God that is within us is as much as saying that the kingdom of Love is within us "Love" being capitalized, as is "God" capitalized, to mark the distinction.
Once we get the point of this shift in our consciousness, an awareness takes hold of us that transforms our thinking: our beliefs and values. We are now something essentially more than human – and this is the key word "essentially"; we are that essentiality itself from here to eternity. It is easy, and just as complex, to imagine all that follows from our humanity from this point on.
Of course, there are innumerable books, and material in all media, proclaiming this new con- sciousness; and they do reach the few in contrast to the many. But it is the many that must be reached if our consciousness is to unfold exponentially, evolutionarily, at the DNA level. And these many are to be reached in the Christian fold itself, the agnostics, and perhaps even the soft-core atheists; and then everywhere else "as time goes by," as convulsive history is made; just as it was convulsively made when Jesus arrived. In brief, what has so far been "the road less travelled" is now to become the "road most travelled"
This, then is the main purpose of this book which takes two parallel directions: one as Christ first historically proclaimed, and taught to his death, the Kingdom of God [in us all]; and two, that this kingdom of God is actually the kingdom of Love; and as such is the essence of the Christian religion – and actually of all religions; and is to be emphasized in our times and for all times.
This book concentrates on the kingdom of "God", its spiritual aspects, from the perspective of Jesus himself, his apostles and early and modern Christian mystics exclusively. All other passages in the book corroborate this exclusive perspective from a secular point of view and experience.
It is not a scholarly treatment, but a spiritual wisdom set in aphoristic format for those who are spiritually inclined, both intellectually and emotionally; yet, as will be seen, the book has all the earmarks of a scholarly work insofar as facts and structure are concerned.
This anthology is the original source book in Christ's and Paul's, and others', own words, mostly plain and simple; and if not plain and simple, then in words that refer to that which is plain and simple. So do not be led astray by others' deliberate or ignorant, misunderstand- ings, however seemingly reasonable and persuasive they may be. We have to be espec- ially cautious against their persuasive rhetorical seductiveness, since it aims for our most vulnerable target: our emotions and sentiments; which, as we know, can easily overpower, overshadow, reason and judgment.
The Kingdom of God/Heaven
REGARDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
The doctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven [within us], which was the main
teaching of Jesus, is certainly one of the most revolutionary doctrines that
ever stirred and changed human thought.
- H.G. Wells
I:1 I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.
I:2 My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But know my kingdom is from another place.
I:3 Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
I:4 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
I:5 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
I:6 He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, "'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'
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Christ on Our Kingdom-Within
THE SPIRIT OF OUR GOD-WITHIN
[From The New Testament Gospels]
II:1 Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
II:2 I am in the Father, and you in me, and I in you.
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[From The Thomas Gospel]
II:16T The Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are
the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty, and
it is you who are that poverty.
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THE WISDOM OF OUR GOD-WITHIN
[From The New Testament Gospels]
III:7 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
III:8 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
III:10 And Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living."
III:11 You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
III:12 You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
III:13 Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times."
III:14 Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
III:15 Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.
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[The Compassionate Jesus]
III:114 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
III:115 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
III:116 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
III:117 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
III:118 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
III:119 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
III:120 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
III:121 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
III:122 Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
III:123 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
III:124 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
III:125 I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clo-
tHing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.
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CHRIST AS THE GOD-WITHIN MESSENGER
[from The New Testament Gospels]
II:1 I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, be- cause I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. If I bear witness to myself, my testimony is not true; there is another who bears witness to me, and I know that the testimony which he bears to me is true.
II:2 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love; just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love.
II:3 I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.
II:4 For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.
II:5 He who believes in me, does not believe in me but in Him who sent me. He who sees me sees the One who sent me. I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness.
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Testimonies to Our Kingdom-Within
[From The New Testament Epistles]
V:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
V:2 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
V:3 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to
lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
V:4 Our love must not be a thing of words and fine talk. It must be a thing of action and sincerity. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
V:5 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
V:6 Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
V:7 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
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V:8 Let us leave the elementary doctrines of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again
a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, with instructions about ablutions, and the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come.
V:10 I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self.
V:11 [We are] joint heirs with Christ.
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Testimonies from Secular Sources
Nothing can discourage the appetite for divinity in the heart of man...The divinity of man is
still on the march, and will be worthy of adoration only at the end of time.
1 Nor should you yearn for a perfect doctrine; yearn, rather, for perfection of yourself. The godhead is in you, not in concepts and books.
2. We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.
... more similar passages from other novelists
1 Within the soul's pure places moves a spirit
Unto a higher, purer and unknown
Giving itself freely in thankfulness,
Reading the riddle of Him no tongue can name.
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We must acknowledge that there is one kind of being which is always the same, uncreated and indestructible, never receiving anything into itself from without, nor itself going out to any other, but invisible and imperceptible by any sense, and of which the contemplation is granted to intelligence only.
3 [The mind] seems to be an independent substance implanted within the soul and to be incapable of being destroyed.
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VI:27 David Bohm / Physicist
1 Light is what enfolds the universe…Light in its generalized sense (not just ordinary light)
is the means by which the entire universe unfolds into itself.
2 [Kant's problem was: We cannot see things as they really are because we impart our structures to experience, so we bar the way to the noumenon (the pure-spiritual-world) with our own inner categories.] But my view is to say, "I am the noumenon," so there is a way out of Kant's trap. At least I am of the noumenon. ... I am participating in the noumenon.
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SEERS / MYSTICS
The Bible: The Old Testament
VI:32 From the Psalms
I have said: Ye are gods; and all of you are the children of the most High.
God has put eternity into man's mind.
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VI: 38 Bede Griffiths / Roman Catholic monk, writer, and scholar of comparative religion and Christian theology
At the deepest level I don't find anything incompatible. The deeper you go into Hinduism or Buddhism, the more you see how there's a fundamental unity with Christianity. On the surface there are many differences and contradictions, and even below the surface there are still problems. But the deeper you go, the more you converge on this One. That is my vision of the future: that in each religion, as you go deeper into it, you converge on the original Source. We come forth from the One and we're returning to the One. But you can't mix on the surface. Syncretism is mixing on the surface-you take something of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and you mix them. What we call Ecumenism is going beneath the surface to the convergence in the One, the Source. That is the real whole.
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VI:39 Joseph Campbell / foremost mythologist
8 We know that Jesus could not have ascended to heaven because there is no physical heav- en anywhere in the universe. Even ascending at the speed of light, Jesus would still be in the galaxy. Astronomy and physics have simply eliminated that as a literal, physical possibility. But if you read "Jesus ascended to heaven" in terms of its metaphoric connota- tion, you see that he has gone inward -- not into outer space but into inward space, to the place from which all being comes, into the consciousness that is the source of all things, the kingdom of heaven within. The images are outward, but their reflection is inward. The point is that we should ascend with him by going inward. It is a metaphor of returning to the source, alpha and omega, of leaving the fixation on the body behind and going to the body's dynamic source.
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VI:35 From The Bhagavad Gita
1 But the whole world is pervaded
By that which none can destroy --
No one can bring it to nothing.
2 He who finds his joy within
Within, his grove of pleasure
And the light of the sun within
Merging with God, he gain's God's bliss.
VI:36 From Buddhist literature
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Mystic Experiences of The Kingdom-Within
From Christian Mystics
VII:1 St. Augustine (354-430 o Algeria)
2. I entered even into my inward self, Thou being my Guide: and able I was, for Thou wert become my Helper. And I entered and beheld with the eye of my soul ... above my mind, the Light Unchangeable. . . . He that knows the Truth, knows what that Light is; and he that knows It, knows eternity. Love knoweth it. Truth Who art Eternity! and Love Who art Truth! and Eternity Who art Love!
VII:2 Meister Eckhart (1260-1327)
1. I have spoken at times of a light in the soul that is uncreated, a light that is not arbitrarily turned on. ... I may truthfully say that this light is rather to be identified with God than with any [perceptive] power of the soul, even though it is essentially the same.
VII:7 St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
1. To reduce yourself to nothing is not a human sentiment but a divine experience….It is deifying to go through such an experience. As a drop of water seems to disappear com-
pletely in a big quantity of wine, even assuming the wine's taste and color, just as red, mol- ten iron becomes so much like fire it seems to lose its primary state; just as the air on a sunny day seems transformed into a sunshine instead of being lit up; so it is necessary for the saints that all human feelings melt in a mysterious way and flow into the will of God. Otherwise, how will God be all in all if something human survives in man?
VII:20 St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)
1. I am so…submerged in His immense love, that I seem as though immersed in the sea, and nowhere able to touch, see or feel aught but water.
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From Secular Mystic Experiences
VIII:2 Thoreau / American naturalist-philosopher
I can remember [from his (Thoreau) early youth] how I was astonished. I said to myself ? I said to others, "There comes into my mind such an indescribable, infinite, all-absorbing, divine, heavenly pleasure, a sense of elevation and expansion, and I have had nought to do with it. I perceive that I am dealt with by superior powers. This is a pleasure, a joy, an exis- tence which I have not procured myself. I speak as a witness on the stand, and tell what I have perceived." I looked in books for some recognition of a kindred experience, but, strange to say, I found none. Indeed I was slow to discover that other men had this experi- ence…For years I marched as to a music in comparison with which the military music of the streets is noise and discord. I was daily intoxicated, and yet no man could call me intem- perate. With all your science can you tell how it is, and whence it is, that light comes into the soul?
VIII:7 Heisenberg / physicist
The talk was still going on when, quite suddenly, a young violinist appeared on a balcony above the courtyard. There was a hush as, high above us, he struck up the first great D minor chord of Bach's Chaconne. All at once, and with utter certainty, I had found my link with the center, ...The clear phrases of the Chaconne touched me like a cool wind, breaking through the mist and revealing the towering structures beyond. There has always been a path to the central order in the language of music, in philosophy and in religion, today no less than in Plato's day and in Bach's. That I now knew from my own experience.
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The Pauline's Spiritual Basis of Christianity
Our Humanity in Christ
IX:1 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.
IX:2 Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
IX:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."
IX:4 I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me, My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory.
IX:5 For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Our Love in Christ
X:1 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
X:2 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, en- dures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
X:3 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.
IX:4 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
IX:5 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
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The Author's Interpretations of Our God-Within
[From The New Testament]
1 Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
"Within us" as part of us or as the whole of us? But then how could the eternity and infinity of God be a part of us. It's hard to conceive of eternity or infinity being parceled out in sec- tions. Then if God is "in" us as the whole of us, then God is everywhere, endlessly. Would that be in every atom of us? and if God is the whole of us, are we then essentially God? If so, then we need to urgently revise our perspectives of religion and spirituality.
2 I am in the Father, and you in me, and I in you.
This saying might be interpreted as meaning: The Father contains Jesus, and Jesus contains you, and you contain Jesus. Or, The Father consists of Jesus, and Jesus consists of you, and you consist of Jesus. Or, I am the Father, and you are Christ, and Christ is you. If we consider the interpretation of passage 1 above, then this last interpretation would be closest to the truth of the saying.
3 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
One's inward God will be revealed to him if he be perfectly receptive to It - as Jesus is.
4 You...must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is Perfect.
Perfect in what sense? perfectly moral? perfectly loving? perfectly forgiving? perfectly virtuous? perfectly patient?... and we can go one and on. Now, of course, as human, we are imperfect, and can be nothing else. So long as we are subject to our chemical psycho-physiology, we can never be perfectly anything, if by perfect we mean purely selfless -- perhaps an act or two, now and then, yes, in which we acted intuitively, without thought, but by pure compassion or love. And here we come, perhaps, to the true meaning of "per- fect" --: a perfect act of love. But what is a perfect act of love? Is it not when we identify with a person (or animal or anything) so that we become one with him or her in mind so that we act in unison with him or her, so that her suffering is our suffering, her joy is our joy?
7 [We are] joint heirs with Christ.
Yes, though Christ is our exemplar, our savior; yet, at the core of us, we truly are "heirs with Christ". Without his life and teachings, we might still be on our knees begging for God's – or the gods – forgiveness, trembling in dread of His temporal and eternal decrees.
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