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Matter of Spirit

Matter of Spirit

(Published by Spiritual Understanding Network)

Book Summary by Susie Pedigo

Religion is an experience for some people. For others it is an idea that guides their lives. The author's religious journey includes both methods and has been successful for her.

The stated purpose of this book is to help others find the happiness that her journey has brought her. The path leads toward wholeness through full interpenetration with the Spirit of God.

The spiritual trip involves every part of our lives. Our generation needs to add new understandings of mind and body to the map of the journey. When our understanding and awareness of self expands our understanding and awareness of God should expand too.

Through observing nature a unity of all created things becomes obvious. God is infinite so everything else must be made from God stuff. Before creation only Spirit in the form of God existed.

Creation occurred through the transformation of spirit into material things. The unity of the God spirit is passed through a transformation and becomes individualized. So creation is both unity and individuality.

To understand ourselves we need to think of our selves as part of the oneness and as individuals. One of the paradoxes that we face is that God is too large to be understood and yet God is close to us because we are constructed of God matter.

People can experience God's action in their individual lives through healing, strengthening and protection, but only when the individual asks for these things. There are so many aspects of God that no two people s experiences of him are identical.

The Bible has about 200 names for God. Islamic scripture has about 99. Any of the aspects named can become a doorway to a relationship with God. Healing is one method of connecting with God. The healer becomes a channel for God's energy.

In order to experience God connection, one must be open to it. He must be willing to experiment with the possibility that God acts in his life. Some individuals have intense experiences of these connections and assume that the method they used is therefore the best method. That limits God. God will meet each willing individual where he is.

God gives pure unformed energy. The individual decides how to form and use the energy. One of the first steps is to realize that your energy is really God's energy flowing through you.

Sometimes we waste that energy or find it stuck in one of the chakras or spiritual center in the body. The result may be undesirable patterns of behavior. Fear for example is the result of energy becoming stuck at the adrenal chakra.

It is possible to redirect energy through prayer. Visualization of moving the energy up the chakras may also help as does the dedication of the energy to God's use. Blasts of emotions of any sort can be handled the same way. Give the energy to God to use however he sees fit.

Energy responds to visualization, daydreams, and worded requests. It seems to be moved even by thought. So, the desires one holds may guide the energy down particular paths. Therefore, it is important to make active choices to guide your life.

These ideals form the energy we receive into patterns. An ideal can be used a short time or for a period of years. Peace and balance are two possible ideals.

Concentrating on the ideal a few minutes daily helps it make a deep impression on the mind and thus increase the probability of it shaping actions. Choose and ideal or quality that you wish to have in your life. When that ideal has helped your spiritual growth you will be ready for a second one.

Growth takes place by making choices and suffering the consequences of those choices. Dreams, visions, intuitions nudge the individual along the path of spiritual growth. Sensory data is irrelevant. A human being is more than a mere physical being. He has a soul.

The soul has many of the attributes of God. So, each person is spiritually a child of God. Experience allows us to feel the souls within. The individual s soul is his self, his heart, the core of mind, emotions and will. The soul enables the interpenetration of spirit and body.

Consciousness is the falling away from God. The ability to make choices is a gift from God. Free will allows us to be companions and co-creators to God. It also allows for the development of mean and unloving actions. God gives opportunities, insights, strength and understanding to those who ask for it.

The individual should be grateful to God for life, and say nice things to other people. We learn separateness. Babies have a sense of oneness with all. Two year olds begin to develop an awareness of how different they are from everything else.

Becoming more aware of our individuality removes us from the awareness of being part of the unity. On the spiritual path one learns to focus on either of the aspects of human nature. Each of us recognizes the self. It is the basis of our consciousness.

God is simultaneously a multiplicity and a unity. We are made in God's image so we must attempt to make our spirits concrete by having spiritual reasons for our actions.

The soul calls us to make the Spirit available for use by our bodies and our bodies available for use by our spirits. Every action is the reflection of a thought. When my awareness of unity with God is the motivation my actions are holy.

To unite spirit and material in our lives the first step is to recognize God's presence in objects and events of our daily lives. Another step is to find a spiritual purpose for each action we take. God is the source of life and love.

An individual aware only of individuality is alienated. He is his only support and protection. He has an empty heart Many of the world's problems are caused by people with empty hearts. People need to acknowledge God's presence and invite God into their consciousness.

They need to go inward in the search of God and allow their consciousness to become aware only of the internal events. Meditation on breathing is one way to start this movement. Mystics are people who spend time going beyond the physical dimensions of life.

Rudolf Steiner and Edgar Cayce are two influential mystics. Rudolf Steiner was Austrian mystic whose vision led to ethical individualism.

Edgar Cayce was an American Bible reading Christian. For that reason, Christians may find Cayce more comfortable. He was a freelance mystic who had no particular plan in exploring the breadth of his spiritual abilities. His reading indicated repeatedly that our actions need to be guided by a desire to bring us into harmony with God.

Cayce's use of illustrations from the Bible led the author to consider whether it could be used as a handbook for psychic development. She developed the discipline of reading the Bible twenty minutes a day, repeatedly reading and rereading the Bible. Connecting to God is the central theme she found in the Bible.

At first only God existed. He actively brought the universe into existence. Human beings as creations of God reflect God. When people gained the ability to make choices they could become self-centered or God-centered. Mankind began to disconnect from God-awareness bring pain and hardship into their lives.

God tried to resolve the separation by destroying most of the people with a flood. He made a new start with a few survivors. Things were no better, so he chose a group of people to become the model for the correct relationship with God.

The experiment wasn't meant to benefit only the chosen people. It was to teach important lessons to everybody. God offered them a deal to align their will with His. The laws God proposed mad a path of action that can still help people to have God-awareness.

There are specified godly ways to do many activities of life. By constantly using personal will to do God s will the person participates in God's activities. Each activity is done for God. It is up to individuals to reconnect with God.

Following spiritual disciplines enables spiritual growth. The discipline can be anything: eating foods that are good for the body. The relationship with God must be the place the individual starts in any new situation.

The rules and disciplines I have set myself make the decision making easier. They guide the behavior .Daytime fasting done not for weight loss but to alter your relationship with God is one such discipline.

For it to have spiritual effect it must be spiritually motivated. It establishes a pattern of behavior that you repeat and establishes a pattern to follow for a period of time.

Taking on the discipline is making a commitment to God.

Beginning the discipline is exciting and new. As time goes on it becomes harder. By the sixth week the discipline has become real work. Doing it even whey you don't want to will strengthen your will to choose.

It causes you to grow because it changes you inwardly. What discipline chose is not important as long as it is consistently performed. Consciousness has two sides. One can be aware of unity or one can focus on individuality.

Intuition helps raise awareness of unity and spiritual reality. Rational thinking works with the physical world. In the west the rational emphasis decreased the awareness of the connecting to God. Science became God.

Jeshua Ben Joseph was a prototype of God embodied in a human life. He reveals the truth about the link between the human and divine. His moral teachings form the Torah and the prophets emphasized loving God completely and wishing good for others. He taught to forgive and to avoid judgment. He reversed the value of social status.

We are all sons of God. He thought that the motivation was more important than action. Live to bring spirit and matter together in consciousness. There must be deeds. Jeshua was a human being fully interpenetrated with Spirit. The joining of Spirit and matter is available by request.

It allows an unlimited source of healing energy and emotional support. Our own beliefs are all that keeps us from this interpenetration. You must want to have spirit and matter joined within you. The interpenetrated Spirit and matter works even if the name Jeshua is unknown.

God has created different paths to oneness in different times and places. Awareness of the connection of body and spirit should increase, not decrease. The individual must act out the connection not merely think about it.

Both spirit and matter must be available for interpenetration to occur. Making choices is where spiritual growth occurs. Learn how to avoid being pushed around and how to resist pushing others around. The individual can chose to reject anything that conflicts with God's spirit. Morning and evening prayer help maintain the connection.

Each activity that one performs may show that God is in charge of that life. Meditation practiced daily is one discipline. Repetition of an very ordinary activity every day is another. It is not the discipline that changes the individual it is the struggle to do the discipline.

Will is the energy to take action. To make daily activities spiritual the individual must hold a spiritual idea to guide the choices he makes. Choosing the spiritual ideal is the most important step an individual can take for growth. Make a list of people you admire and determine the qualities you admire in them.

Pick one of those for your spiritual ideal. Work with one for several years; then choose another. Bringing my attitude closer to Gods is a step in spiritual growth but it doesn't cause the interpenetration of spirit and matter. Actions must come from the attitude. A spiritual discipline is one way to do that.

The effort expended on God's behalf is more important than the actions. The author s goal is to live so that her life embodies and expresses God s spirit. When one puts a spiritual concept into action, God responds. It is possible to have too much spirit in your life. Body and spirit are both created by God.

Because people are complicated they can hold more than a single value system and alternate between too much and too little. Balance is desirable In order to create balance one must integrate spirit and matter in daily life.

Determining where I m going is the spirit and body is the method of getting there.. Use physical reality to meet physical needs and spiritual reality to meet spiritual needs. Don't abandon the material world. Learn how to use it.

The soul works in both spirit and matter. Any time your energy is becoming depleted it is a sign that you are working from the individual rather than the unity position. Humility is necessary. No individual is better or more important than any other.

The Spiritual journey does not begin with the individual it is an interaction with God. It is important to include others, think globally and in terms of community. Since the soul functions in both the spiritual and physical realm it is also a good idea to look at self as individual. Spirit and matter belong together.

They are joined in all actions. Spirit remains spirit and matter remains matter even when they are joined. God created both spirit and matter. While they remain separate they act as a single unit in the soul. The body and spirit trade information. As we turn an understanding into action we experience a spiritual truth.

Helping people encourages spiritual growth, and spiritual growth leads to helping people. God's energy must be handled carefully. We receive it as a gift, but need to share it. How we use it makes it ours. God's energy flows and we must not stop the flow.

Leftover energy causes problems. Don't take in more than you put out. Use all you have received to make the world better. Prayer works in emergency situations because of the intensity of the need that goes into a prayer. In non-emergencies Christ may e taken in by a celebration of the Last Supper.

Eating Christ filled food increases the awareness of unity with God. There are so many ways to connect with God that they can t be listed or counted. Each individual must discover his own path. The author says that her description of the experience may help others

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