Q: My contemplation for the day is “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son.”  Does this have a different meaning other than how it is traditionally interpreted?  Is there another way to see this other than God sending a savior to save us?

A: Yes and no. Yes, He literally gave His son so that humanity could be saved.  This can be a little hard to comprehend, that God has a son, literally, and that you are now “saved” because of his sacrifice.  So there is another way of looking at it as well.

Upon close examination of your contemplation for the day, we find that not only are we saved if we accept this, but that we are unconditionally loved.  For some reason, this is not emphasized near as much as the fact that Jesus is our Savior that God sent for us.  But if you stop, pull back from your absorption in your everyday tasks, you can feel God’s love enveloping us.  It feels like an all-encompassing peace, a peace that is there at all times, in all situations.

So, to answer your question, yes, God really did give his only begotten son because he so loved the world.  And if you really want to feel the gift in this, stop and feel God’s love all around us.  When the world seems like it has gone mad, God’s love is always there, will always be there, Amen.

Q: How can we relax the pressure of time?

A: First, one has to realize that most of the pressures of “time” are actually pressures of “the ego”.  Time can’t put pressure on you at all. If someone, or even you, tell you that you have to get something done by a certain hour, time of day, or day, this is not time, but someone’s, or your own opinion on what is wanted.  A simple technique to help with this is to ask yourself, “Is it true?”

> Is it true I need to pay my bills on time?
> Is it true I need to make dinner by this time?
> Is it true that I need to retire at this age?
> Is it true that I need to be doing such and such with my career by such and such a time?

The ego’s demands are endless. To try and pacify the ego will never work.  By its very nature, the ego is a problem generator/solver.  It will find a problem in virtually anything, then try and figure out how to fix it.

However, when you ask yourself “Is it true I need to go to the store by such and such a time?” a curious thing happens. All of a sudden, you find all these constrictions of time, all these needs, are actually “wants”. You want to be on time to work to do a good job.  You want to retire by a certain age. You want to save this much money by this time.  And so on.

Just feel the feeling that you get when you say “I want”, vs. “I need”. The “I need” is a confirmation of the emptiness of the ego.  It says “I need this to be happy, to be complete”. “I want” is very different.

It’s natural for us to want things, and when you acknowledge this, you are allowing yourself to be exactly as you are. It is only when “I want” morphs into “I need” that stress develops.

Try this experiment on yourself.

 

Q: Why are we here? What is the meaning of life?

A: The meaning of life is experience.

Q: Can you offer advice on how we can be in the world but not “of” the world?

A: This means that you live in this world, you incarnate in here, but you are also aware of: more than this reality, awareness itself, and what your spirit came here to do.  So you are aware of these three realities.

Incarnation allows our spirit to experience what it wants/needs to experience in material form, and awareness makes us automatically aware of this.  All three need to be attended to in order to be a fully integrated being.

Some religions and teachings focus on the materiality of this incarnation only. Others teach you to transcend this material world completely, that this world is just a dream.  Both have something missing from the big picture.

While it is true that you want to transcend this material world, it is more accurate to say that you want to transcend the idea that only the material world exists, to become aware of awareness itself, and to become aware of your intuition, which is a window into viewing what your spirit longs for, what it came here to do.  But how does one do this?

The first step is to become aware, to allow yourself to believe that there is more than just the material world.  This belief allows for the reality of awareness and spirit to enter into your conscious awareness.

Once you become aware of this expanded reality, focus on your awareness.  When you do this, you more consciously live your life, allowing you more of a bird’s eye view of what is happening so that you can act more in line with what your spirit has come here to do.

So, step one, open yourself up to awareness.  Step two, put your attention on awareness.  Step three, become fully aware of what you are doing.  Step four, you will naturally develop your intuition, one of its functions being to make you aware of the longings of the soul.  This is a continuing, meditative existence.  It is a continual process. In this way, you are living in the world, but are aware of much more.  You are in the world, but not of it.

As an aside, I think I should talk a little about the material world, intuition, and awareness.  

Open your eyes, and you see the material world.  It is what is.  That’s easy to see.  When you look at the world, what is looking is awareness.  It is happening automatically.  So the material world is what is, and awareness is what sees the material world.

If you focus on awareness, eventually you will also become aware of intuition.  What is intuition?  It is an internal, automatic knowingness that is in constant communication with you that is often overlooked because of our natural preoccupation with the material world.

To become more aware of intuition, focus on awareness.  This will make you more present in the moment to experience your existence more fully and automatically develop your awareness of intuition.

These three things — the material world, awareness, and intuition — seem pretty simple then.  The confusion comes about when the ego steps in.

While awareness makes you automatically aware of the material world and your intuition, sounding very simple, what your ego does is come along and comment on everything.  It makes so much noise and is present so much of the time that people think that their ego is what they are.

To help yourself out of this confusion, once again, concentrate on awareness.  This will allow you to see your ego for what it is, an automatic movement, based on past fear that occurs within your consciousness.

Once you see how automatic it is, and that it occurs within your consciousness, it becomes another thing, just like someone’s voice or a TV in the background, as you observe your life.