Beliefnet
Letting Go with Guy Finley

The initial stages in the work of giving up your suffering lead you through a new kind of suffering that begins with struggling to give yourself up, and ends with the glad discovery there was never any such sad self to surrender.

dandelion and seeds blowing

The one who looks to me for strength,
Is not without my own,
The one who calls on me for peace,
Finds quietude is sown,
The one who reaches for my hand,
Will never walk alone,
The one who comes to me for love,
His heart is made my Home.

man extending hand to woman

candles and flamesThere is nothing greater in this life — to do with one’s life — than to make an offering of it. In some ways, some days, this kind of sacrifice may feel as nothing, and to no end; but even that feeling must be given up, offered to the small flame of understanding that we are here, on earth, for a given purpose that we cannot know until and as we fulfill it… much as the wick of a candle experiences the flame that fulfills its purpose. A great mystery, no doubt, but in even the slightest glimpse of such a possibility can be felt the promise of life everlasting.

There is one way, and one way only, that any of us will ever know the real meaning behind the life of Christ, and that is… to share in his death. And by this, I do not mean symbolically, or by any other allegory. If our wish is to know the truth behind his seemingly incomprehensible, incomparable act of self-sacrifice — and the rebirth that crowns this surrender — there’s but one thing to do: we must stop thinking about it… and get down to the business of actually dying to our own lower nature.

Spending one’s time wondering why this god-man agreed to lay down his life for the sake of the immortal Self that he embodied… is like hoping to be healed by a medicine that you give someone else to take for you.

Let me be clear: it doesn’t matter what we say we believe in, or otherwise profess to be true. Belief alone amounts to nothing. To paraphrase and enhance a timeless idea: faith without acts is not only fruitless, but along with being the dangerous root of fanaticism, it is one of the dark seeds from out of which grows the evil of religious intolerance. Comparing the value of our ideals to those of others is not what it means to act truly, anymore than the act of judging someone proves the worthiness of the judge.

Just because we have the ability to judge others because they don’t believe in what we do doesn’t mean that what we believe in is true; in fact quite the opposite holds true: feeling compelled to act as the judge and jury of another for failing to exhibit some desirable characteristic or quality proves the absence of that quality in ourselves.
Nowhere in Scripture will you find anywhere the Christ says, “I want you to hate or condemn those who fail to live up to your imagined ideals about what it means to love the Light which I reveal to you.” However, what he did teach and enact might be stated something like this:

“It is my wish that you come to understand — from yourself — the real purpose of this life, and your divine possibilities within it; to do this, you must see what lies hidden — high and low — in yourself, in others, and in the world around you. Consent to this and, in your awakening, by its light, not only will you realize the need to die to yourself, but you will also be given the Divine will, grace, and guidance you must have to make it so.”

The life and death of the Christ did not happen two-thousand years ago, anymore than the rising and setting of the sun belongs to a particular place and time. Seen, or not, the life of Christ is now… as is his sacrifice for the sake of the continuing perfection of the human Soul.