Here is Francis' own introduction to the last Chapter of his book which we will bring you today and next Sunday: There are so many aspects of life that I have thoughts about. In my thinking I perceive them in light of my knowledge that God is All-That-Is and that I am but one in That and in the loving extension in oneness of God in all of humanity and in all of what we call creation. That for me is covered by the word Creation.
As I have what is called a lifetime ahead of me I have time to think about them all but now I present but a few.
In accepting that God is All-That-Is, everything, in what mankind has been accustomed to call creation, pertains to the Living Oneness which is God.
God is Spirit and all that comes from God is spirit, although humans see things materially and somehow believe that what is seen with our eyes is more real than the spiritual. That is because humans have held to a belief in disparateness not only within seemingly individual selves, but also in relationship to our Creator.
God, totally adequate, superabundantly and inherently loving, is the eternal causation of perfect extension of God's Being. This Being in extension is God's one and only child or offspring. This extension is Creation.
What is generally called creation (no capital "C") is the universe humans perceive themselves living in and committed to in everyday existence. This is accepted perception of the reality beyond understanding but conforming to belief in separation, in duality, in God and me, in me and others, and in our spiritual identity and what we perceive as matter. The reality is otherwise and is known as our perception is healed.
All thought is creative and we, because of our being part of the essence of God, are essentially creators. God's Thought (of Sharing Love, of sharing the Essence of God) generated an offspring and, because thought never leaves its source, that offspring is essentially and eternally one with God. We, as one in and as integral to the Oneness of God, have our being within the Thought of God.
Since the Offspring of God somehow had a thought: "What would it be like to be separate from the Thought of God?", that thought created an illusionary world in which the offspring of God thinks itself disparate and lost and, finding itself on, as it were, a journey to find what it thinks is lost.
God knows Offspring is neither separate nor lost from God but Offspring doesn't know that, as Offspring has forgotten its origin as Offspring. Offspring persists in believing in an illusion and, using its power of creativity through thought, to continue a world of matter and lacking in peace. Offspring's amnesia, however, is not total within itself and Offspring is reminded by prophets, especially Jesus, among us and tries to recollect something of its being in Divine Being, something of Heaven. Offspring uses its thoughts to create a world better than it has been. It succeeds only in so far as these thoughts are related to the Thought of God.
Offspring's quality of life in the illusionary world depends on the clarity and purity of its thoughts in relation to God's Thought. It creates according to the thoughts it focuses on. It makes mistakes but all is not lost. It tries again. In the end it will transfigure itself and the illusionary world and will remember fully.
How much of my day am I really aware of? What happened five minutes ago has gone. I can make resolutions about how I dealt with that occurrence. I can make efforts to change or repair my then course of action. But I cannot erase anything. Regarding the remainder of the day left to me, I can make plans but how they eventuate I cannot tell. Really all that I can be aware of is the present moment, my now.
What I am dealing with now is buying a present for my daughter's birthday. In the process of doing that, I may delve into the past: "What did I buy for her last year?" I might try, referring to the past, of course, to foresee how she will appreciate or use the gift I am thinking of: "Will she like it?", "Will it end up in the drawer of unwanted presents?
Really, the present moment is my present to her, for that is what I'm giving to her. It is my present. I give her this present moment by my being with her in my decision making. My present to her is the fruit of this present moment.
When I arrive at her place on Tuesday, my presence there will be a joy to me and, I'm sure, to her as well. She will accept my present sensing that I was present to her in the selection of the gift and present in the giving.
Crucifixion is the state I put myself in when I mistakenly believe I am other than what God created me. I crucify myself when I claim myself unworthy, weak and limited by what I perceive around me. I am on a cross when I believe this world is my home and perceive it hurting me and making me unhappy.
Resurrection comes to me when I remember and acknowledge who I am really before God. Jesus proved by his resurrection that he is alive. The perception I have of death for me is but nothing compared to the real and glorious state of being always child of God.
My resurrection is my reawakening. Jesus is the model for rebirth, but rebirth itself is but the dawning on my mind of what is already there really.
There is no need for me to suffer anymore, but there is need for me to heal the mind that perceives suffering and sorrow. The miseries, I perceive I own, have made me deaf and blind to my salvation and deliverance.
Jesus can heal me because he knows my value and it is this value that makes me whole. The resurrection of the world awaits my healing and happiness, as it did Jesus, that I may demonstrate the healing of the world.
Through my transfiguration is the world redeemed and joyfully released from guilt. 2001
"Brother, are you saved?" the man said to me as I entered Westfield.
"What's that mean?" I replied.
"So you won't go to hell", he answered.
"I certainly don't want anything to do with hell. What must I do to be saved?" I asked, suspecting what he would say.
He did not disappoint me. He seemed true to form. He said, "You are already condemned to hell. You must give up your sinful ways and believe in the Lord, Jesus. Then you can be saved".
I thanked him for his advice and went on to have a haircut. While the snipping went on I remembered that Jesus had not gone around telling people of sin and condemnation. Rather my thoughts were on his references to heaven and his wanting God's will for us to be accomplished. I thought about how compassionate he was towards all who saw themselves as poor, captive, downtrodden and blind. I became excited about his saying at the beginning that his coming was that people have life and have it to the full. In my meditation I realized that his life indicated how much he loved me and that God loved me unconditionally. I was gladdened by his wanting me to remember his love to the extent that I love myself and, consequently, others just as much as myself. This seemed to be fitting in so well with his wanting me to realize that I am one with the Father just as he is one with the Father.
I kept these thoughts with me during the day and felt great warmth in the understanding that God has a will for me and that it involved me as the beloved embraced by divine love. I remembered that God, in creating me as the beloved, embraced me as the extension of the divine. Somehow the mystery of this divine embrace made me one with God and that God is All-That-Is.
Remembering my oneness with God, reminds me that I and my other in this world are but one and that my embrace of my sister or brother is a joining in the embrace of God. What I am doing to, and for, and with, my brother and sister I am doing to, and for, and with, my Self and to, and for, and with, God.
So I began to think: What am I doing in this world? Why am I here? Do I need salvation to get to heaven? The answer to these questions, it seems to me, revolves around my remembering who or what I am. If I am separate from God, I am indeed in need of salvation. But I cannot really be separate as oneness cannot be split.
My conviction is then that I have but forgotten who I am and where I am. I see myself as in some sort of dream state from which God is, as it were patiently waiting like the father in the prodigal son story, for me to remember where home is and my divine oneness. To remember is for me salvation. Jesus wants that of me. He wants me to have life, being in this world but not of it, and to have it to the full. In my day-to-day relationships it may be that the divine nature within me will prompt me to be doing something. I really don't have any need to do anything but remember who I am and what it is God created me to be. If I do anything, it is sufficient, and therefore effective of good, that it be done in love. It is not the doing that is good; it is the love. July 2006
What are your thoughts on this commentary?