Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series, where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has shared many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the unity of spiritual experience.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Unity of Spiritual Experience
““Jesus said, ‘‘But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’’" John, Chapter 14, Verse 26
Brothers and sisters, sometimes our lives appear to be disjointed. There seem to be large gaps between meanings that appear to lead nowhere. We also know that there are certain memories of our past that are available to us. Others we don’’t recall. There are certain spiritual qualities that follow us throughout our lives, and these qualities unify our experiences.
To a large degree, the successful completion of one experience becomes the prerequisite for the successful completion of the next experience. Apparently whatever was learned from the previous experience--though not often realized--becomes necessary to traverse the next. In a certain sense, we see this in our educational system, where children around the age of five begin their educational experience and steadily progress until they emerge from the other side of it, having mastered each preceding step along the way (notwithstanding that there are some irregularities in this process).
The so-called social promotion is an ingenious attempt to deal with the problem of older children who fail to progress, remaining in lower grades which they have emotionally and socially advanced beyond. Intellectually they have not. And this intellectual deficiency if not corrected will surely handicap them in the larger arena when they have passed on beyond the formal educational system.
In the larger arena of life where we begin to exercise some control over the decisions that we make and thus determine what reality we will experience as a result of that, the unity of experience becomes a measure of our success in life. Sometimes in our efforts to move forward, we make mistakes; and other times we become outright rebellious as we refuse to obey the laws of life. When we make errors in life, the meanings of those errors cannot be used to advance us through life, anymore than failing a grade in school can be used to advance us along the track of the educational process. We must correct the error, make a different decision in order to move forward. The failure to correct the error leaves us in the eddy currents of life that go nowhere. The lessons from the errors can be used to allow us to get back on track, just as an examination of why we failed a grade in the educational system can be used to help us to pass the failing grade. If the problem was that, say, we failed to study adequately or attend class on a regular basis, by correcting these problems, we can be successful when we repeat the grade and capture the necessary information to successfully complete it.
In the moral arena, we see the same principles at work. We are moral beings, which means that we are able to recognize relatively right conduct from wrong conduct and choose concerning them. The failure to make correct moral choices also leaves us on the moral sidelines of life. The failure to be responsible and trustworthy certainly will cause us to fail in the moral arena. Indeed, our whole society’’s integrity is dependent on its members being moral. Without a certain degree of minimal moral standards, the whole system breaks down. Those who rise to the top in the moral arena are those who have successfully discharged progressive moral responsibilities and have thus qualified themselves to assume even greater trusts.
Those who fail to discharge moral responsibilities remain immature and useless to themselves and society. e. They lack moral unity of experience. Now this demonstration of being a moral being is extremely important-- it is the basis for acquiring a spiritual nature.
Our spiritual nature begins with the creation of our souls, the enduring part of ourselves that recognizes and responds to truth, beauty, and goodness. As we experience this life, we also begin to experience the values of truth, beauty, and goodness, and their meanings. These values and meanings of truth, beauty, and goodness, like the moral experiences that allow them to be revealed to us by the divine spirit, are also progressive in nature. As we make increasingly difficult moral decisions, we also comprehend ever progressive values and meanings of truth, beauty, and goodness. Unlike the material educational systems, there are no spiritual soul promotions. The soul demonstrates its mastery by grasping the values and meanings of truth. But these experiences are arranged in such an order that the values and meanings are timed to appear at the correct time of soul development. Only by conscious resistance can we delay the growth of the soul.
And like the educational system, evil (error), sin, and iniquity do not promote growth but rather retard it. In the material educational system, we correct deficiencies of an intellectual nature by remedial training. We provide an opportunity for the deficient one to identify his errors and then correct them. In the spiritual system, error and evil are corrected by the growth of the soul. The soul knows when it has chosen error because the expected values and meanings cannot be realized. Thus, the soul suffers disappointment in that it was unable to actualize a particular value of truth. As the souls grows, it eventually reaches a degree of maturity where it recognizes the difference between truth and error. And by demonstrating this ability to choose truth over error, the soul demonstrates that it has overcome the error by incorporating truth within itself.
The recognition of the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Father’’s love requires a certain degree of soul maturity. It is like the material child recognizing its father. It takes some time in growth and development before the material child actually consistently recognizes his earthly father. The same applies to the recognition of the spiritual Father. Error, evil, sin, and iniquity cannot be unified. These temporary values have no eternal existence. The immature soul chooses error and evil, the unconscious violation of the law of the Father’’s love that says that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. It requires a certain degree of maturity to see why this is true. The soul who unconsciously chooses to violate the Father’’s law of love does so out of ignorance. It does not know any better.
As the heavenly Father is the Father of all of children with souls, the failure to obey the Father’’s law of love creates disharmony in the parts and prevents unification of the whole. Therefore evil and error cannot be unified. It becomes a by-product of growth, an example of what not to do. Sin and iniquity, on the other hand, are a more serious violation of the Father’’s law of love because these are deliberate. They show an unwillingness to be loyal to this unifying law of love. They recognize the whole, but choose not to be a part of it. They ignore the claims of brotherhood. They seek to be a law until themselves. The practitioners of sin and evil cannot be spiritually unified and neither do they have any desire to be spiritually unified.But to those souls who choose to obey the Father’’s law of love, their spiritual experiences are unified by the Father’’s love.
The progressive values and meanings of truth, beauty, and goodness will be unified by and with the Father’’s love. And such unified experiences will unfailingly show how all the previous values and meanings have led one into the other. It will show how even though the experiences required a different quality of the values and meanings of truth, beauty, and goodness, they nevertheless remained the same value, the only differential being the increased capacity to discern greater and greater meanings from these values. And such unity of experience presents a unified soul who is unified with the Father’’s spirit. When such a one reviews his spiritual life, he sees no disjointness or back washes of unused or unacceptable experiences. All he sees is love permeating his whole being and his whole life. Such a one is one with the Father, supremely unified.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the unity of spiritual experience. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.