Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In search of the Way of Mastery

“If you become wholly committed to awakening from the dream you have dreamt since the stars first began to appear in the heavens and if your one desire is to be only what God created, then lay at the altar of your heart with every breath, everything you think you know, everything you think you need, and look lovingly upon every place that fear has made a home in your mind, and allow correction to come. It will come. Regardless of how you experience it, it will come.”

These are the opening lines of The Promise at the beginning of The Way of Mastery, the three-volume book channeled from Jeshua ben Joseph (Jesus) to Jon Marc Hammer (or Jayem), an ordinary spiritual teacher in the US during the years 1994 to 1997. His experience is chronicled in the book The Jeshua Letters.

Jeshua is the same source who inspired academics Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford to channel the now internationally known A Course in Miracles during the 1960s and 70s. In both cases it seems the chosen “conduits” were taken totally by surprise and even resistant, but saw the work through unstintingly.

The Way of Mastery is a remarkable book, with a depth and authority that would be difficult to challenge even by the most conservative Christian.

After many years as a Christian lay preacher who had become frustrated with the many interpretations of the story of Jesus Christ, and the dogma and self-serving of various Christian sects and interests groups, my father decided to write a book called simply The Sayings of Jesus, but, sadly, he died before he could complete it. Among his most trusted sources of interpretation and inspiration had been Imitation of Christ by the 14th century monk Thomas a Kempis and the Gospel commentaries of William Barclay which I also read avidly in my twenties. Thus, I think my father influenced my approach to spirituality and The Way of Mastery came as a unique opportunity for me.

When a friend of my partner introduced us to the original separate editions of the three volumes which the friend had been given in Australia, I was blown away and without hesitation I ordered the combined hard-cover version from the Shanti Christo Foundation via the internet. Had my father been alive today I am convinced he would have found The Way of Mastery as fascinating as I have.

The opening lines above are indicative of the incisiveness of the book which has an easy, even playful style which belies its subtlety and complexity, and there has been no attempt to edit the words received by Jayem. The language is often quaintly “traditional Judeo-Christian”, but the authenticity is unmistakable and the recurring themes reinforce themselves over and over throughout the book. The Way of Mastery contains 35 lessons over the three volumes - The Way of Love, The Way of Transformation and the Way of Knowing.

One of the most liberating of Jeshua’s teachings - although admittedly pretty tough for ordinary egos to adopt - is that events of the world are “neutral” and “innocent”. In other words, in any given scenario it is simply our decision to overlay interpretations on events, people and things - decisions which invariably bring us suffering in the form of judgments, anger, fear and frustration.

Even as horrendous a fate as crucifixion is open to interpretation! In the lesson entitled The Power of Forgiveness, Jeshua has this to say:

“The universe is literally helping you to have experiences that will bring things up for you so that you can choose to look differently; thereby discovering the great power within you – the freedom within you to choose what you want to perceive and to illicit only what you want to feel. So that even if nails are being driven through the hands, you finally are liberated in the power to choose Love and therefore to overcome this world…

“The result is that your ordinary daily life is the most perfect ashram you could ever be in. It is the holy city to which it is wise to make pilgrimage every day, which means to bring awareness and commitment to exactly what you are experiencing. To be thankful for it, to bless it, to embrace it, to be vigilant and mindful: What is this moment teaching me?”

Perhaps among the most important of Jeshua’s words, which are repeated over and over again, are these, which resonate with the Gospels of the New Testament: “I and my Father are one” – invariably meaning we are all one with and inseparable from the Father, Abba, the Creator and that we are co-creators of our own destiny and even the destiny of the universe. Jeshua emphasises that we are his brothers and sisters, again resonating with the Gospels.

It is the ego’s insistence that we are separate which disempowers us and causes us to suffer. This is another recurring theme: We are deluded by the ego’s notion that we can be separate from God, which is impossible. Jeshua points out that we can continue to believe that for as long as we like, but we will never succeed, and the reward we continue to receive for our efforts will be what the ego thrives on – the delusion that suffering is brought upon us by the world around us.

The Way of Mastery also resonates with other reputable modern spiritual literature and there are themes that come up which are not unlike Eckhart Tolle’s international best-seller A New Earth, for example, which, for me, makes it all the more irresistible.

See Shanti Christo Foundation.htm