Raise YOURSELF from the Dead this Easter!
by Sharon Janis)
in beautiful Cardiff by the Sea
Studying spirituality is not meant to be like the Olympics, where you get to appreciate someone's great skill without having to give even the slightest thought to perfecting your own twirls and endurance abilities. It shouldn't be that we see spiritual attainments in great souls and only think, "Oh look, that spiritual man has imbibed the teachings and light of the Lord so beautifully," or, "That sage has uplifted herself through meditation and other practices." "Look at that priest who shows love so purely;" "Look at those yogis who have attained such a vibrant equanimity;" "Did you hear what a wise talk that knowledgeable minister gave?" and, of course, "How amazing it was that Jesus rose from the dead on that Easter day two-thousand or so years ago."
Well, what about you? What about your great sage, your great light, knowledge and love? Are you alive or are you dead? Do you feel the vital force moving through your life, your actions, and your thoughts? Do you spend time in solitude, connecting with the deep universal essence that flows through the blood of every living and so-called non-living thing? Have you touched your own soul? Have you read the story of your life from the perspective of your Higher Self? Have you found blessings within yourself, wisdom within yourself, and love within yourself?
I think that given the circumstances of today's world, Jesus himself would like nothing better than to see people using this holiday - not just to honor his greatness or to buy a basket of Cadbury crème filled chocolate eggs - but rather to uplift ourselves using his teachings and example as a guide. I think he would likely ask us to let go of our differences and "club" mentalities, especially since Jesus probably wouldn't have fit into very many of today's Christian clubs.
Perhaps he would say to people of all religious traditions, "Stop burning yourselves because someone has mocked your concept of God, and also stop mocking other people's concepts of God. Stop the madness of today's fighting and small-mindedness, and, at least for this one day of Easter, in honor of my rising up from the dead, spend some time in contemplation, prayer, and inspired thoughts and actions. Raise yourself and the whole world up into a higher, richer, greater, and more peaceful, joyful, and kind life. The Kingdom of God is at hand, but there are also many other realms at hand. Choose wisely and act carefully. I came so that you could have life more abundantly - receive what I've given into the depths of your own life. Don't just wear the WWJD T-shirt, but really strive to discern and do what I would do. Don't just praise and honor me, but become praiseworthy and honorable yourself. I've shown you the way; I am the way. You too are a child of God. Follow my example and words, and raise yourself up into greater life. Don't just use my phrases to hit other people's beliefs over the head. When I say that I am the way, I am speaking to my disciples and all who will listen, saying, hear what I've told you, read my words, contemplate my actions, and then bring those words and actions into your own life. The I Am, which also lives inside of you, is the way. As our heavenly Father said to brother Moses, 'I AM THAT I AM.'"
Whether or not Jesus would speak those exact words to us this Easter, why not take it upon ourselves to raise ourselves up, individually and all together? Have you ever seen those email campaigns that exhort us all to stop using gas for one day, supposedly to sock it to the gas companies (oh yes, that's worked well ;) Well, let's band together and sock it to the lower nature of humanity by spending this whole Easter Sunday visioning the kind of world we wish we had, and being the kind of people we wish we could be. Lets look at the world with a higher vision for just one day. Let's spend this entire Easter Sunday seeking ways to give more of ourselves to the world and to ourselves. For this one day, let's read, hear, and watch the day's news stories with fresh eyes of acceptance, compassion, and love.
Can we possibly make it through an entire day thinking only positive and optimistic thoughts? Let's find out! Let's spend this Easter Sunday increasing our own inner light. It is in our hands to do. There is so much more life available than what you and I settle for every day. Let's do it this Easter - let's rise up together into a better life and a happier world.
Sharon Janis is the owner of Night Lotus Productions, which brings light to the world through creative works, including videos, writing, graphics, music, photography and a popular award-winning website of free multimedia spiritual resources at www.spiritual-happiness.com/nightlotus.html. For the two and a half years, Janis has attended services at a different church, meeting, or temple (all traditions) every Sunday.
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