The millenium. It approaches. The energies build. People experience hope and fear. Many people are going through intense deep-level transformations in their lives, in themselves. The millenium can be a gateway, a threshold, a passageway, a choice point. It has been two thousand years since the birth of Christ. As time is measured in contemporary human terms, one can say, we stand at the threshold of a new era. What this new era will look like, how the planet Earth continues, depends to some degree on the choices people make, how the human consciousness develops. There is always an interaction between the cosmic and the human energies. From our perspective, there is no divine plan that does not include human choice. It is possible to experience this millenium as a passageway in one's life, but one can't wait for the millenium to do the job, to move one over the threshold. It is a good time to re-affirm one's commitment to being here, on this planet, in this body. It is a good time to re-affirm one's commitment to service, to self-knowledge, awareness and loving. It is a good time to re-affirm deeply that one has choice and that it is the exercise of one's awareness through choice that holds the seed of change for this planet. The potential and the promise of this millenium is that each individual human being begins to recognize his or her responsibility for making choice, for developing, nurturing and opening to a greater awareness, a greater loving, that then enhances, supports and directs one's choices. This shift happens one by one, within each individual.
The concept of the millenium is intimately connected to the defining and powerful event of the birth of Christ into this world. The year 2000 means 2000 years since the birth of Christ. The story, images and symbols of Christ have, for better or worse, shaped the human experience on this globe for the last two thousand years. Especially for people in western culture, or influenced by it, which is almost everybody these days, it is a good time to come to terms with the Christ story, with the essential teachings of Christ, and to separate those teachings from the history and institutions of Christianity. It is a good time for Christians and non-Christians alike to examine and re-assess their understanding of the teachings of Christ. How can we understand these teachings, how can we work with them? What does Christ, from whose birth we date the present era, bring to this world now?
So let us speak a little about what is called the Christ consciousness and about its potential to be reborn, re-understood, released from the bondage of the last two thousand years of history, about its potential to bring transformation to the human experience in this day and time. In the New Testament Jesus says to his followers, "Why do you continue to call me 'Lord, Lord,' and you do not do as I tell you?" In other words he is saying, why do you continue to pray to me, to identify me as your messiah, when you do not follow my teachings? This sums up the last two thousand years of human history. Perhaps this is all Christ would say to his followers at the millenium: When are you going to begin to truly follow my teachings?
If one goes back and penetrates into the teachings of Jesus Christ, through all the layers of church, institution, personal interpretation and misinterpretation, one finds essentially some simple messages. The kingdom of heaven is among you. The kingdom of heaven is within you. Love thy neighbor. Love thy enemies. Love thyself. Forgive. Do not judge.
Lift those teachings out of a cultural context, out of your own particular association with Christianity, either for or against, lift them away from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Bible. Lift them away from the hypocrisy which with they have been surrounded for two millenia and reflect on them for a few moments. There is a power in those teachings, a clear and simple message that could, and would if they were followed, transform the human experience. Jesus spoke them two thousand years ago. People choose not to listen to these teachings, to their inner voice, to each other, to their greater awareness, to the world around them, to the teachers that come and go. They choose not to listen to that which they claim to worship and pray to. They choose not to hear, not to pay attention, to forget, to find excuses. People continue to look outside themselves for a savior, a possibility of paradise, a cosmic shift that will solve all problems. People continue to maintain a split in themselves, to separate their daily life from the teachings, from what again they claim to worship and follow. People reading this may feel that we are speaking about somebody else. What is important is for each individual to see how this applies personally. Some people don't even try to heal this split. They have no awareness that they are saying one thing and doing another, or they are full of rationalizations. Some people try. It's important to keep trying. This millenium gateway is a good time to formulate some basic principles for yourself that guide and motivate your life... Finding the truth within yourself, experiencing the kingdom of heaven within your own heart, living with a greater degree of love and awareness, not judging, forgiving, loving thy neighbor. Formulate for yourself what matters to you, in your own words, from your own understanding. And then remember these principles. Remember that you have a choice. You can ask yourself from day to day, moment to moment, "Do I choose to remember that I have a connection to a greater awareness and let that awareness direct my action in this moment or do I choose to keep going around on the wheel of old habit pattern?" "Do I choose to take responsibility at this moment for my own life, my own being, my own actions, or do I choose to wait for someone, something, some outside force to tell me what to do, to save me?" It doesn't matter if the person next to you is doing this too. It doesn't matter if everyone else in the world is. It matters what you do.
Part of the process of taking greater responsibilty for yourself, paradoxically enough, is recognizing that you never act alone, that at any moment you choose to move out of your old conditioning, the support and affirmation of the Whole is there, that you are a part of a vast consciousness that supports your individual choices, actions and life. The more you open yourself to and experience your connection with that vast web of being and consciousness, and serve it with your individual choices, the less you experience yourself in conflict with yourself, with others, with the world. This is a good time to reflect on and remember and experience that fact.
So what does it mean that the kingdom of heaven is within you? How can you experience that? First of all, what is the kingdom of heaven? Spend a little time contemplating that. What does that term mean to you? How would you translate that into words that are meaningful to you personally? In meditation and prayer one sometimes experiences a state of being that can essentially be described as spacious, vast, all-embracing. That state of consciousness does not judge, it accepts. It can be called the ground of being. It can be called peaceful, harmonious, still. The kingdom of heaven is traditionally the home of God. God is the creator, the allknowing, the source. If the kingdom of heaven is within you then this implies that the source is within you. What is called God dwells in you. That which creates, chooses, wills, that which is the source of all, is no other than you.
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Take a moment some time soon, preferably at night, to invite the experience of this source into you. Light a candle, turn out the lights. If you live in a place where you can see the stars spend a few moments outside or at a window with the night sky and then come back to your chair or bed or meditation cushion. Close your eyes and imagine that night sky full of stars. Allow your breathing to become quiet. Feel the peacefulness that comes from connecting with that spacious sky, that vastness. Reflect on the fact that the kingdom of heaven is within you, and that therefore the creator, the source, is within you also. Ask that creator or source within you to make itself known to you, ask to feel it, to experience it. Feel the stillness of that presence within your heart. Say to yourself, from the depths of yourself, let there be light.
Imagine, then, a star dwells in your heart. It is a white star. It looks like the star that is often depicted in paintings of the birth of Christ, a circle of shining white light with beams radiating out in all directions. That star dwells in your heart. It dwells in the depths of your being. That star represents the source, the creator coming into manifestation, being born into this world through you. The Christ consciousness can be described as the divine consciousness of love, wisdom, creative power and oneness desiring and intending to move, live and act in the world. This consciousness chooses to enter into life, to move and breathe, experience joy and suffering. It chooses to serve and heal, to communicate and be with others, day after day, night after night. It chooses to live in this world through each individual, through you. Christ was not only born two thousand years ago. You carry the seed of that divine consciousness within yourself. It is waiting to be born. You have the choice, from moment to moment, day to day, whether to birth that consciousness or to crucify it.
Spend some time with the divine consciousness in this form, the star in your heart, the herald of the birth of greater consciousness into this world. Hold it there, nurture that light, and experience the peace that comes with its presence. This is one way of actively, tangibly bringing greater consciousness to your life in this world.
Christ said also, I come not to bring peace but the sword. This doesn't mean Jesus intended people to fight each other over his teachings. It means that energy of love and healing also brings change. It brings up and clears away blocks, resistances, old clingings. It isn't always comfortable. Don't invite that star into your heart if you don't want to change, to be confronted with that in your life that needs change.
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Traditionally, the millenium is also supposed to bring the day of judgment. At the last millenium many people expected the world to end. This time there are also people predicting disaster, but it is primarily the computers and not God that are supposed to bring this disaster. If there is a day of judgment coming with this millenium, it is not in a single day, or only in a week of inconveniences caused by computer glitches, or even in a big disaster. The "judgment" comes over a long time with the debts coming due, humanity reaping the consequences of the actions of the last few thousand years. The rain forests, the ozone layer, the seas, the rivers, the earth scarred by bombs and chemicals, these are the judges people will have to face. There is no way around this. It's the time and the world you live in. Whether it is inconvenience or upheaval that comes with the turning of the dates in countless computers, it's a good time to examine one's relationship to technology, to the society you live in and the values it holds. It's a good time to look at what conscious choices you have about how to live in this world, how you choose to spend your time and energy, how to keep an inner balance in such a time, and by doing so help bring a balance back to the outer world. Every small act of consciousness and love, whether it is directed toward yourself, a fellow being, or the earth itself, helps to begin to repay that debt, to correct the imbalance.
The millenium is also supposed to be, mythologically, about the second coming. Let's assume the second coming might have to do with people finally understanding what was said the first time. Perhaps the "second coming" means people begin to live the teachings of Christ, not as a truth exclusive to all other teachings, but as one expression of a universal truth. Perhaps more people can experience the kingdom of heaven among them..i.e. here on earth, not somewhere else. Perhaps more people can experience their salvation as within themselves, as the Christ within. People will say, but how do I do that? This meditation of the star in the heart is one possible pathway among many that have been offered throughout the centuries. But the great mystery and challenge is: no one can answer that question for you. Only you know how you can do it, and only you can do it, and only you can find, day after day, moment afer moment, your way of birthing that Christ consciousness into the world. It is ultimately entirely unendingly up to you. At the same time that is is up to you, there is so much support, help and grace to carry you along this path of greater consciousness. The Wholeness of which you are a part wants to support you in making the choice to recognize it and rejoin it. Please, do not forget the help that is there at every moment. You can call it whatever you want, God, Great Spirit, Universal Consciousness, Divine Mother, Divine Father, that Wholeness has been given hundreds and thousands of names. This whole vast web of Being supports you.
May all beings be happy, peaceful and free of suffering.
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