Applying the Easter story to our daily lives

I’m so blessed that I had such a great spiritual teacher who loved the Bible and knew how to take the wisdom in it and apply it to life with all of its challenges.

His name was Rev. Paul Solomon, and he came from a long line of Evangelical Baptist Christians. He also had mystical experiences which led him to a deeper spiritual understanding of the Bible.

He used to tell us that you can read the Bible on three levels: physically, mentally and spiritually. He said that because a lot wasn’t written down, some of the historical facts, and even the “mental stories,” may have suffered a bit, but the way to get the most out of it personally was to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the spiritual truth behind whatever it is you are reading, and wait. Be still and focused on receiving the truth as it comes to you personally.

He shared those understandings in a class called, “Come Alive Bible,” and taught us all how to meditate so that we might experience our own spiritual understanding whenever we needed it.

And where did he get this great idea? Right out of the Bible itself.

“And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:26-27)

“That which is born of flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)

Jesus was encouraging his disciples (and any of us who follow his disciplines are his disciples) to remember that they are spirit who happen to be living in the world.

The world is the third dimensional plane and I’m including the thoughts and lore of the people in it. Receiving the Holy Spirit “feeds” the spirit selves that we are. Spirit is Love, and when we receive and express that, we are acting from our spirit selves, gaining in spiritual presence and power to live the very best balanced lives that we can.

We may begin in the world, as 3D beings with minds that learn, remember, make things and stories, but just as Jesus’ disciples who were fed from His Spirit, we can become more loving and spiritual beings and overcome the world as He did.

We’re included in this plan of transformation.

“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who are to believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may that thou hast sent me. The glory which Thou has give me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and Thou in me, that they may become perfectly one.” (John 17:20-23)

Jesus’ messages were for anyone in the world. He was a spiritual teacher. He never created “Christianity.” He helped Samaritans, Jews, Romans, Greeks, anyone who was open to receiving this amazing invitation to see beyond the laws that people lived by.

I’d recommend that the above passages be thought about so that there is a worldly understanding of them, and then the Holy Spirit, Universal Mind, Spirit of Truth, whatever it is called in your religion, be invited in to give us a more spiritual experience and understanding for you.

Sometimes it comes with no words, for the Spirit is beyond words, and can best be understood and experienced as love, acceptance, light, peace, joy.

Some call this expectant waiting period meditation. It is the emptying of what our minds think, or our emotions feel about something to experience the vaster spiritual awareness.

I believe that when Jesus said things like, “Follow me in order to be saved,” He was speaking from the loving, holy self that He was, and not that it necessarily meant that we have to follow Jesus that exact person, but follow His example of loving everyone, and judging no one, and going to the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, the Voice for God for truth.

Everything in this world will fall away except the love that’s been expressed in it.

In the book “InterSpiritual Meditation,” (Spiritual Paths Publishing, Santa Barbara, CA 2010), author Edward W. Bastian gives reference to the spiritual experience being the heart of all religions.

“Genuine spiritual experience is the source of the world’s religions. For example, the spiritual experiences of Moses and the Hebrew people, Jesus, Muhammad, the Vedic Rishis, the Buddha and Lao Tzu provided the foundations for Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. Spiritual is both the source and the gateway to genuine religious experience. That is to say, spirituality is the active ingredient of religion; religion without spirituality is like a body without breath.” (Page 23.)

The Holy Spirit can use any life experiences or personal beliefs one has to increase spiritual awareness in that person. What seems like an absolutely overwhelming, unsolvable catastrophe, can be used to bring a person to greater heights.

Anita Moorjani had fourth stage cancer with her liver and kidneys shut down, open lesions on the skin, water in the lungs, and more. She went into a coma, and had a spiritual experience which totally healed her in a few weeks! She went on to live a very fulfilling life helping others who also have devastating health crises, or even confusion and sadness in their lives.

Jesus was captured, publicly humiliated, maimed and had his body destroyed. Yet He trusted that Spirit was in charge of the event. He endured the event with dignity, love and forgiveness. Spirit trumps the third dimension. It has a far greater capacity for miracles than most of us experience, because we don’t open to it to feel its presence in our lives. Spirit condemns no one and forgives all.

Just as Jesus demonstrated on the cross, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:24) Using the spiritual power of forgiveness and love, He was able to resurrect. It was a huge example for us.

So I urge anyone who feels overwhelmed, or humiliated by another’s story of them, or a mean action against them, a negative medical diagnosis, whatever your crucifixion story, to just sit and wait for the Comforter to bring a greater understanding to you.

You’ll know you’ve connected and received a message when you feel peace. Your answer would follow the laws of Spirit. You might be directed to a specific person for help. It might see someone’s mean action as a call for love. So send love to them from your heart. You have an unlimited supply. Even if they can’t receive it because of their sad story about who they are, your love will be kept for them, until they can receive it.

Sometimes we are the ones who need to love ourselves. So do it. Be kind to yourself. Ask for help. The ego can create quite a negative story about anyone. So breathe it out, and breathe in the unconditional Love of God for you and all His creations.

If we really got the whole message, we’d see a sacred self in everyone, knowing that it was there, even when that very person had forgotten it for themselves. “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” (Matthew 23: 40)

We all experience “crucifixion” stories where our images of ourselves feel like they are under attack. So ask for help from the Voice for God, listen and wait. The Holy Spirit always responds when asked.

Stay focused. Wait for peace. You might not hear the answer because it may be beyond words, or you’re distracted, but trust that you will always receive one. Try again. Join with others, and try in a group. Sometimes it helps one focus.

And let the upgraded you be revealed. That is the power of Easter.

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Hale Opio Kauai convened a support group of adults in our Kauai community to “step into the corner” for our teens, to answer questions and give support to youth and their families on a wide variety of issues. Please email your questions or concerns facing our youth and families today to Annaleah Atkinson at aatkinson@haleopio.org

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