What is the Meaning of Life
Communicating With God
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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 163 Communicating With God by Ernest O’Neill
We are talking about the way we were originally meant to live. That is, the way our personalities were meant by the Creator of the universe to operate. We have based our thinking on the explanations that have been given by the one man that has ever lived in the universe and has seemed to be able to show by His life that He was divine. There are many people that have claimed to be divine; many of them in the psych wards still claim to be divine. But they haven’t shown the balance of life and the ideal ethical behavior that this man, Jesus of Nazareth, showed.
So, we have, after examining His life over some months now, concluded that He was, in fact, the Son of the Maker of our universe. The explanation that He has given for the way our personalities are meant to work is that we have been made by our Creator in His image — like Him, given the same capacities as He has.
We exist on three different levels. We exist on a physical level, our body with its five senses of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, etc., by which we perceive the outside world of people and things and circumstances. Then, inside that, the soul, which is really the psychological level of our lives, our emotions and our mind and our will.
Finally, inside that again is a level called, by this man Jesus of Nazareth and by the old book called the Bible, our spirits. Our spirits we’ve begun to define as the real us, the person you really are, your spirit, the person as you really are. It’s you, yourself. If you can think of yourself, in a room, free from all worry and anxiety about making money in order to get the next meal, or making money in order to ensure that you can retire and be taken care of when you’re no longer able to work…
…if you can think of yourself in a room with no worries about your parents or your sons or daughters or your brothers or sisters, your friends with no sense of resentment against anybody or of overwhelming lust after someone, if you can think of yourself as sitting in a room absolutely at rest and at peace, then what you would want to do at that moment, that is your spirit speaking.
Your spirit is the real you. It’s the essence of you. It’s you yourself deep down. That’s the part of you that is alone able to be related in any way to the Maker of the universe. Not your body, which is primarily responsible for your interaction with the world around you. Not your soul, which is primarily responsible for self-consciousness and for being able to examine what you think or what you feel or what you want. Your spirit is the part of you that enables to relate to God Himself.
You can see, therefore, that if it is the real essence of you, it is very much connected with absolute honesty. What you really are deep down is the part of you that will be able to relate to God.(cid:9)Of course, that’s why so many of us have great problems with this. We’re prepared to relate to God on a physical level and be all taken up with the beauty of the Cathedral, or the wonder of the church choir, or the beauty of the ritual that we observe, but that’s all on the physical level.
It has nothing really to do, really, with a relationship to God. It’s just relationship to world symptoms that accompany us at times, worship of God and at times, they don’t accompany worship of God. It’s not through our thinking and through our feeling that we can relate to God, because our thoughts and feelings are primarily connected with ourselves. When we have a thought or when we have a feeling, it’s primarily something to do
with our own personal experience of the world outside or of other things. But, it is not the experience itself.
You will remember, even C.S. Lewis would say that when you look in to see if you’re having a relationship with God, you have ceased to have that relationship because you have begun to put your concentration on something other than God. You are no longer having a relationship with Him. All you are doing is examining the mental track of the previous relationship you had with Him in communion or worship.
So, it is in your spirit that you actually have an interaction with God. You remember, several days ago we discussed the outline of our spirits that is given in that old book called the Bible. Without quoting a lot of the verses, some of which I did mention to you back in that broadcast, without quoting a lot of verses so that we don’t get all bound up in religiosity, let me mention to you that there are at least three main functions of our spirit that are mentioned and described in some detail and illustrated over the period of 3 or 4,000 years that the Bible covers.
One is, of course, the ability to commune with God. Our spirit is the part of us that interacts with God. In other words, it’s usually when you’re alone and when you are your real heart self that you’re able to interact with God. Actually, that is no mystery to you. You know that already. You know that the few times in your life when you felt you were in some way touching the invisible, or you were in some way in contact with the Supreme Being behind the universe, or you were in some way touching the inner depths of reality, that was when you had been shocked into seeing that you had to be absolutely real in this situation.
There was no opportunity for you to be anything but real. You could not play your usual games. Usually, these moments occur when either a loved one dies or when you yourself are in imminent danger of death. At that moment, somehow you stop all the games that you play, and you are real yourself. You know that it’s at those moments that you’ve sensed most vividly that there is a Supreme Being. You’ve sensed in some way that you were in some kind of vague contact with Him.
You yourself know that it is in your spirit that you commune with God or that you are able to interact with God. It’s deep down where you are really yourself. That’s why, though you and I can talk a lot about these things on a broadcast, and though lots of ministers and lots of writers can try to help you with it, finally, you alone can do it. You, yourself, in the quietness of your own room, or the quietness of your own heart, you alone can interact with God. Actually, He is able to have no relationship with you at all while you are playing the old games.
Usually, it is only when you are grimly and desperately determined to contact God that you ever live in the realm of your spirit. Most of us, of course, have lost completely any touch with our spirits. But, it is in the spirit that you can commune with God. Some of us say, “Oh, then I know people like Jean Dixon [horoscope columnist], or I know a spiritualist that communes with the dead, or I know somebody else who has experienced reincarnation.” Wait a minute! Wait a minute.
Your spirit is able to contact all sorts of other things besides God, Himself. One of the things that Jesus explained was that there was a whole evil spiritual world. There is a satanic kingdom. There is a fallen angel called Satan who rebelled against God in the pre-temporal days of eternity. There is, therefore, a whole band of evil spirits that operate in our world. You’ve only to look at many of the things that are done in the name of religion to see that these things shoot through all kinds of religions, including Christianity, but especially are they active in the Eastern religions.
In the Eastern religions there are all kinds of elemental spirits of the universe. I don’t know if you know
that term, but it is used in a book called the Bible in a book called Ephesians in the New Testament and in Colossians, where one of Jesus’ followers Paul says, “You were once slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe.” So there are elemental spirits of the universe.
That’s obvious, even in old Wordsworth, whom many of us respect who love English literature. He obviously had contact with the spirit behind nature. At times, he touched the Spirit of God, but at times, he was just touching the elemental spirits of the universe. You will remember he said, “…and I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thoughts, a sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean and the blue sky and in the mind of man; a presence that fills all things.”
He obviously was touching some kind of spirit, but it wasn’t always the Spirit of God. So, remember that your spirit can have contact with all kinds of other spirits besides God. But, it is in your spirit that you contact God. Let’s talk a little more about this tomorrow.