Escaping from the prison of time and space
The theme of this reflection is
'Escaping from the prison of time and space'. We can approach this topic from many angles,
but in this reflection we would particularly like to explain it from the perspective of the School of the Golden Rosycross.
The spiritual world versus time and space
Long ago humanity descended into the world of time and space from a completely different realm, from another dimension.
The world which we experience, the world we perceive with our sensory organs,
is one in which numerous opposites are kept in balance.
We know day and night, life and death, joy and sorrow, beauty and ugliness,
hope and despair, poverty and wealth, peace and struggle.
But the completely different realm from which we descended was the
original, spiritual field of creation,
in which the original soul human being was living.
Time and space, in which we now live, were generated from this
original spiritual field as a radiation field of a lower vibration.
The original soul human being lies ‘imprisoned’ as it were in time and space.
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We can penetrate no further into our universe than this field of three-dimensional space.
Perhaps we can understand to a certain extent that there is an unlimited radiation field in which time does not exist.
This radiation field has always existed and will always exist, and
it penetrates everything, yes even each atom.
It is omnipresent, and each of us has been called to that omnipresence.
These two worlds are described in the Gnostic wisdom teachings as the
Kingdom of the Light and the world of darkness.
At first sight, even this comparison seems to point to a contrast.
But here the term ‘darkness’ refers to our well-known world,
yes, to the entire universe, not because it is always dark here, but because
our limited consciousness does not know and cannot perceive the original Kingdom of the Light.
As the Bible states:
And the Light shines in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. [John 1:5]
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The Light has always accompanied us ever since the creation of humanity on this planet.
In addition, there have always been messengers who have had the task of explaining to us
that this world is not humanity's final destination;
and that there is a path that leads out of this fallen state.
The Buddha called our familiar world, with all its limitations,
‘the world of delusion, Maya,’ and told us it is not the true human destination.
The Buddha also explained how a human being could find the way back,
the Path that leads to liberation, liberation from the wheel of birth and death.
Lao Tzu, a Chinese contemporary of the Buddha, called our field of life
‘the world of ten thousand things,’ referring to all those things
with which we are occupied, with which we keep each other busy.
Indeed there are many billions of things that rivet humanity's attention,
keep it captive in the illusionary world of time and space.
We can hardly act differently, we are part and parcel of this world.
And many are burdened by it.
But hope is provided in some words by Lao Tzu:
What is imperfect will become perfect.
What is crooked will become straight.
What is empty will become full.
What is worn out will become new. [The Chinese Gnosis, ch.22, p.226]
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The path of self-realisation
This is what we know as far as God's creature, the human being, is concerned.
After a period of preparation, called involution,
the human being is faced with a task, called evolution.
Contrary to what many people think, evolution is not an automatic process.
Evolution does not just happen by itself;
the human being needs to make it possible to happen, by his own efforts.
He needs to realise the divine aim, in himself and by himself, voluntarily,
and in understanding and love.
That is why, at the beginning of the path of self-realisation,
the human being is offered the way of perfection, the way of magnifying the God within.
The human being is informed about the whole plan.
This is what is meant by the statement that “what is imperfect will become perfect”.
Everyone who is really ready for it, will see the way of perfection before him.
The plan that is then unveiled must be put into practice.
It must be fulfilled by the individual himself, in free will and devotion,
with an all-consuming interest and profound love.
The power of the Light, the spiritual essence in the centre of every human system, means that everyone is capable of attaining the goal.
[The Chinese Gnosis, p.229]
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How can we walk this path?
When we are confronted with the grief of this world,
when we see how everything that lives will die one day,
how everything that grows and blossoms will perish one day,
how everything that is built up will one day crumble and decay,
how everything good that humanity strives for turns into its opposite –
only then we can set out on the path.
Another guideline is given by one of the propositions in Spinoza's Ethics:
A person who is motivated by fear and thus does good out of fear of evil
is not guided by reason.
However, a person who is touched by the reason that exists at the heart of things
will never experience anything else than the feelings of joy and intense yearning.
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The basis for going the path of return to the original spiritual field
is the primordial longing, and it must first awaken in us.
If our basis lies in fear and self-interest,
we will at first still follow many wrong tracks
before we hear the voice that calls out to us from our own inner being.
Spinoza warns us, saying:
Those who strive to keep human beings under control through fear,
thus driving them to flee evil rather than loving virtue,
aim at nothing else than making others' lives as disastrous as their own.
Here he points to various religions and political movements
that impose their standards on humanity, speculating on its primordial fear.
This fear is based in evading danger and preserving the species –
and in this respect there is little difference between human and animal.
This fear leads to self-maintenance as can be seen in world society as it now exists.
The key to the hidden door to the path of liberation lies in our inner compass.
Are we completely, with all our mind and with all our emotions,
busy with our ten thousand things,
busy with our striving for our own happiness,
with striving for harmony and justice in this world of time and space?
Or are we focused on true renewal, on life renewal as shown by the Christ:
‘The Kingdom of God is within you’ and ‘My Kingdom is not of this world.’
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Guidebooks explaining how the way back can be walked have appeared in many texts
from all times and all places, in Gnostic writings, and in the Bible.
Buddha called this way back the Path of Liberation.
And we can follow it now, in our own lives, in spite of all our limitations.
This path begins with longing, with an intuitive remembering that we were once more, much more.
We are stimulated to seek, and then our consciousness begins to awaken and we desire knowledge.
Gnosis is knowledge, true knowledge, the knowledge of the All.
And then everything depends on our focus,
for we forge a link with the object of our focus.
And through this focus, we achieve insight into ourselves.
Where do we place the centre of gravity in our lives?
What is the central issue for us?
What is the basis for our mode of life?
Are the illusions of peace, freedom and happiness the central issue?
Do we realize the fleeting nature of all of this?
Through the insight that we gain, can we now understand that
the central issue of our life is: leaving our prison of time and space
and connecting once again with the One Light,
the One Light from which the All has been created,
whose nucleus lies hidden within our own being?
In chapter 33 of the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu describes this state as follows:
He who knows others is astute, but he who knows himself is enlightened.
He who overcomes others is strong, but he who overcomes himself is omnipotent.
And Hermes Trismegistus, the thrice-great one, said with even fewer words:
He who knows himself, knows the All.
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We hope that the experience of this Reflection has provided a glimpse
into the magnificence of our true human calling.