It’s been awhile since I posted and more than a few years since The Light of Illumination…a Beginner’s Guide to the Eternal Way was released.  I haven’t gotten around to writing the promised sequel, but here is how it would begin.

In dedication, I would offer my gratitude to those who came before me and who opened my spirit to the light and promise of eternity. I offer these pages as a legacy to those who will follow and to honor the memories of those who first set my soul on the path to wisdom.

I look around at the state of the world today and cannot help but be reminded of the description of St John in scripture as a voice crying out in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord. Prepare for His coming.”  The unenlightened might interpret that passage to mean that the Lord needed our assistance to find His way, when it makes more sense to interpret it as “Prepare your hearts for the coming of the Lord.”  For it is we who are in need of His assistance, we who are lost, we who are so convinced of our own righteousness we have abandoned even our most tentative grasp on understanding.  In order to find our way again we must return to our beginnings and unlearn the foolish conceits of this world.

In doing so, we would do well to remind ourselves of a few simple truths:

There is no life without God. There is no light without Him, no happiness, no peace, no serenity, no wisdom. For wisdom based on a lie is foolishness and this world would have us believe that God is a myth, a construct of those unwilling to face the finality of death. When in fact it is those who preach He does not exist who live in constant fear of death, who cannot face the prospect of their own end. They are terrified and unable to escape their fear so they attempt to drag everyone else down into their darkness to provide them with company in their despair. Rather than abandoning their frantic grip on darkness and turning towards the source of all light they vainly attempt to extinguish its source. They attack the innocent. They use His name to foster their own violent, judgmental ends thus ensuring them remain locked in darkness and hatred.

If there is hate in your heart, you do not know Him. If you are consumed with resentment and violence and aggression you cannot know Him. Love is His way. Patience, peace, freedom from the tyranny of oppression and want. He patiently waits, an eternity it must already seem to Him, for man to learn these most basic truths and to abide by them, to wrap our lives around them and build our civilizations around them.

If there is despair in your heart you do not understand Him. For He is the source of all hope and all comfort. Open your pain to His grace and be cleansed.

I look back over what I have written and accept they are merely a collection of words and words are unable to hold His light and His truths.This life is only the beginning, never an end. In light of that singular truth, shouldn’t we be a little more mindful of the eternity we are creating for ourselves? Those who dwell in darkness in this life, and who, by their actions, condemn others to it, serve only to tighten its grip on their own souls.

Death is not a free pass. It is merely a threshold we pass through into the next stage of our lives. We don’t get to leave behind the consequences of all we have done and created for ourselves in this one. For those who have used this life to diligently strive to overcome their limitations and become more than they were at its inception, the eternal nature of life is a great comfort. But for those who have fallen from the spiritual state at which entered this life and have spent this earthly existence in idleness, in violence, and in judging the efforts of others, the continuation of this life into eternity brings fear.

And so it should. Hopefully that fear, that possibility that there is no end, is enough to make us all look back and evaluate our beginnings and the blessings that accompanied them and what we have made of ourselves in light of them. Are we more than we were or less? Will our return to heaven be greeted with delight and congratulations or will we face our passage to eternity weighed down by regret and sorrow at lost opportunities?Each day, each dawn we are given the opportunity to recreate ourselves and the life we are making for ourselves here in this world. Words make it sound easy. All we have to do is wake up one morning and just go out and redefine ourselves. Anyone who has tried understands that carving the life we dream of, making of ourselves the vision we hold in our hearts of our highest self is anything but easy. It requires discipline, dedication and resilience in the face of our inevitable failures and of the mockery of others who are unwilling to do the same.

So as we prepare for a new year, let us all look back and acknowledge our failings, congratulate ourselves on our successes and resolve going forward to have more of the latter than the former. Chart your course for the coming year with faith and the knowledge that this life is merely a stepping stone on your journey to your own eternal self. Don’t waste it. Don’t waste the opportunity given you here. Even if you go through this life avoiding every challenge that confronts you, they won’t go away. Death is not a free pass. Wouldn’t you rather overcome as much as you are able to in this life and be finally free of those weaknesses and addictions and imperfections in the life that follows this one?

Remember as you reach for your dreams and make your plans, that God has His own vision for you. It might be a good idea to check in with Him once in a while to make sure you’re not drifting too far off course.

Happy seeking & Happy New Year