The Imprisoned Splendor
Browning wrote, “Truth is within ourselves. We must open out a way for the imprisoned splendor to escape.” The truth he was talking about is the truth of our identity, who we really are – the consciousness of God manifest in form. We are imprisoned in lesser concepts of who we are. Because we are afraid to take responsibility for being God’s presence, we set up laws of limitation for ourselves and by operating within those laws, we imprison our splendor.
Without understanding why, there has always been something about Jesus’ Godliness that we have been drawn to. Deep inside we sense that hidden in his words was something that we have not quite grasped. We have been blinded by the miracles he performed for his followers and missed the miracle that took place in his own life, the miracle that can give us life eternal as it did for him. Because of that miracle we have said, rightly, that he was God. Jesus’ miracle, the one we must now experience for ourselves, was his escape from the prison of a limited concept of his identity. He, like all of us, was born with a given name, a body, and a physical sense of self, but somewhere along the line, possibly at his baptism when the dove descended upon him, he emerged from the prison of a physical concept of self and understood that he was a spiritual being with a physical body. From that moment on, he lived as a state of consciousness, Christ Consciousness. He realized that he had a body, but he no longer thought he was the body or personality. In fact, he was so aware of himself as Spirit that he said that if we destroyed his physical body he could raise “it” up in three days. That means he was fully aware of his true identity, and so aware of it that when we think of him we think of the God that he and all of us are when we escape from the prison of self.
In attempting to help us wake up to who we are, Edgar Cayce suggested, “Let us not measure by earthly standards (objectively) if we would know ourselves. Rather measure by that which we have found within ourselves to be our ideal (our subjective values), know in what we believe, and act that way. Let us, therefore, be willing to be measured, not by what we have, but by what we give.”
We are so conditioned to think we are what we “have” – the body we see in the mirror, the house we live in, the friends we have, the credits we have achieved, etc. etc. etc. We plan on how to use what we have, where to go, what to do. All of that perpetuates a sense of material or objective identity that keeps us imprisoned in this world. We look out at the world from within our limitations and fears only to create more of the same. However, once we stop thinking objectively in terms of “me” and start realizing that we are what we “give” and what we give is our consciousness, we begin to fly, or should I say “ascend.” When we live by our Christ ideal, we are living by Spirit and thus creating as Spirit in form.
Our ideals are not what we wish to achieve. They are actually who we really are. Our ideals is our higher consciousness. We wouldn’t have even entertained these ideals if they were not our present being. It isn’t that we are limited human beings who at times feel the presence of God, who at times break through to a spiritual sense of self at which time our higher consciousness takes over and we speak the words of God. It is the reverse. We are spiritual beings who at times have been drawn back into the prison of separation from the truth of our being until we once more wake up to who we really are. We are spiritual beings living in human bodies, and when we stop desiring to “do” anything or “be” anything other than who we already “are,” heaven will be our home.
Jesus’ one miracle was that he woke up to who he was. His other miracles were the natural occurrences of his knowing who he was. All of his teachings are for one purpose — to tell us that we, too, can wake up to who we are and take responsibility for our true identity, that we ,too, can open out a way out for our imprisoned splendor to escape from our personal sense of self and reveal that it is all God.
The time has come now when we have to meet temptation head on. A whole new year awaits us, the doorway to living the fullness of our true being is wide open. Starting now, whenever we feel limited, depressed, inadequate, or unable to live up to what we know, we must stop the lie right in its tracks. We must stop and realize we are what we give. We give love, we give friendship, we give compassion, we give truth, and we give to all we can. That is who we are. We are not made in the image of God. We are the God which projects its image out into the world.