It Happens When You Least Expect It
Many people have wondered, “What is it that I can do to experience illumination?” To squelch unnecessary angst, know this: Illumination cannot be forced. Trying anxiously to experience illumination is like trying to fly by vigorously flapping your arms. It won’t work.
Surprisingly, illumination is often experienced when you least expect it. It happens suddenly and most often when you are not praying, contemplating or meditating. Illumination can happen at any time, but don’t be surprised if it’s while:
- mowing the lawn
- cleaning the house
- attending a meeting
- shopping for groceries
Illumination, experiencing existence as it is, cannot be forced. Yet there are some things you can do that will prepare the way – things that will open the door for an illumined experience. Below are what I believe to be absolute essentials.
Passion To Know Truth (God)
Reader, have you ever been passionate about something (or someone)? Whatever it was, that thing hijacked your waking thoughts – and even your dreams! It gave you a reason for getting up in the morning with a smile on your face.
A passion to know Truth (God) is a door opener for the experience of illumination. Christ Jesus articulated this passion for Truth in this one priceless idea: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.”
When you have this passion to know God, directly, it shapes your prayer life. It determines – even drives – every aspect of your praying. A passion to know God determines the how’s, when’s and why’s of your praying.
Purity Of Motive
Purity of motive and passion; seldom does one exist without the other. Why do you pray? Why do you contemplate? Why do you listen to hear the “still small voice”? What’s your motive? Are you trying to heal a sick body? Are you trying to fill an empty wallet? Are you trying to land the perfect job? Perhaps looking for someone to fill the empty, lonely nights? I can’t say that you won’t get these things with prayer, but they repel Illumination.
The strongest magnet for an illumined experience is purity of motive. What does that look like? It’s when God (and nothing else) is the reason for praying. It’s when God (and nothing else) is the reason for contemplating. It’s when God (and nothing else) is the reason for listening to hear that “still small voice”.
I, like many people, started off in the “how to get more stuff” branch of metaphysics. I got stuff, but wanted more – I wanted God. I remember praying for many days, “God, of myself, I cannot love you with all my heart, but I’m willing. Let me love you with all that I am.”
I know there is a dualism lurking around in there, but it did the trick. I have shared this with many people who wanted to purify their motives for praying, and for those who tried it, it worked like a charm. And when I say worked, I mean that they did go on to experience Illumination.
Be A Stay The Course Person (STCP)
You would not be reading this blog if you did not sense/feel that God is now and already the only Presence and Power. Yes, the way sometimes seems rough as 30-grit sandpaper, but you continue to hang in there. You keep praying. You keep reading. You keep contemplating. This is a good thing.
Staying with the spiritual facts, even before they are revealed to be facts, is the one common factor in every case of illumination. Let’s take the body as an example (but this applies to your worldview as well). Before it is revealed that there is only One Body – God embodied, the STCP (Stay The Course Person) acknowledges her Body to be a spiritual Body. The STCP acknowledges God’s Perfection to be the only Substance of her Body. She acknowledges it to be birthless, deathless, timeless and ageless because God is all of these things.
The STCP doesn’t waffle-waffle between the spiritual reality of the Body and the seeming material reality of the Body. At one moment she isn’t contemplating the spiritual nature of the Body and later in the evening investigating scientific laws and facts of the Body. Although, at times, all seems black as a starless night sky, she stays the course. And, this is before she has experienced any revelation.
How is the STCP able to do this without Revelation? The Presence that moves her to read the books, comb through the blogs, and listen to the spiritual audios is the same Presence and Power that moves her to take these truths off of the pages into her daily living. She’s not waiting for some magical moment before she acknowledges God’s Allness.
Frequently, I hear some variation of this spineless excuse, “Allen, it would be easier to stick with the spiritual facts if I had some Revelation to go on.” My answer is this: I have never known anyone to make spiritual progress by waiting for Revelation before they acknowledge God’s Allness and Onlyness.
Reader, if you are reading this blog, or any similar blog, and if you are reading any spiritual books at all, stop waiting for Revelation. Start NOW acknowledging God and only God in, through and as All. Couple that with your passion and purity, and share your first experience of illumination with our readers.