Sunday, August 6, 2017

God is directly accessible

When you look at the sun with your naked eye, you see something like this:

You see an intense surge of light so bright that it is hard to pin down the exact shape of the sun. Of course, you can't look too long, because it is so bright that your eyes hurt. You have to turn away very quickly. 

Since you can't stare at the sun, you have to sense it indirectly: through ambient light, through heat that you feel on your skin, and through its effects on other objects.

The sun actually has a tremendous amount of detail to it. We can't see it with our eyes because there is so much light flowing from it that it overloads our sight. In order to see it, you have to filter out a great deal of the light coming from it. Here is what the light from the sun looks like when chopped into several bands of wavelengths:

True messengers are frequently considered to be sources of additional light and truth. Yet, all of us has constant, direct access to all the light and truth God possesses.

God's light and truth flows in and through all things, even those things that do not recognize him. "Everything that was created received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out." (CEV John 3:3-5) Darkness truly does not comprehend (or recognize or acknowledge) God, and yet he still not only exists, but is the power behind the actuation of all things in the universe.

An analogy: A child does not realize their bodies are a collection of chemical reactions. Yet, their ignorance of that fact does not cause the reactions to cease. Their ignorance of the fact likewise does not prevent one who knows and understands chemistry to take advantage of that knowledge to induce favorable circumstances in the body.

Those who recognize and learn from God's light and truth are able to ascend to a greater degree of glory here and now, taking greater advantage of a universal channel that is available to all:

"And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren. Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren;" (Alma 13:4-5).

Instead of approaching God by accessing and applying this light, the world turns away from it. God's light shines everywhere, at full blast, all the time, and is therefore technically accessible to all, men turn away from it because they cannot stand the glory.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3)
The role of true messengers is to reduce that glory to something much easier to digest--a small chunk--and distribute it to the masses, in hopes that they can develop the capacity to recognize, comprehend, and endure God's glory directly.

You test a message by experimenting upon it. If you live it, receive the promised fruits, become more like and experience more of God, it is right. If you do not, it is false. What a true messenger offers is the opportunity to experience what they claim to have experienced. If you have done what they have taught and not received what they have claimed to receive, one or both of you is a liar. Either you have not done what they have done, they have not experienced what they claim, or both. Anyone who follows a man is a fool. Anyone who follows a fool they have disproven through their lack of experiences is something worse.

True messengers are able to instruct others in how to achieve the experiences they have achieved. Their principle value is describing the path they themselves have walked. This of necessity includes only the tools available to them--if it requires some new thing they themselves did not have, they have strayed from the task of describing their own path and are describing a path they themselves have not tested.

If a new path is offered in lieu of the original experiences, it can only be as a curse--something lesser given instead of something greater. Moses gave a new path to the Israelites, and it was indeed a curse. However, he only did so (rather, God only did so) after Moses first offered for them to have the same experiences and status with God as he had. Moses had obtained his visitation and status with God without the law of Moses. The Israelites rejected that offer, and were given a brutal covenant instead.

Always remember that a person can convey both truth and falsehood. Satan himself sometimes teaches truth in spite of it being surrounded by falsehood. When he told Adam and Eve that eating the fruit of knowledge would not kill them (a lie), he also told them it would give them understanding of good and evil, which was true. Men can likewise teach both true things and false things. A man's having taught truth in the past does not certify that whatever he teaches in the future will be true, and a man's having taught falsehood in the past does not certify that whatever he teaches in the future will be false.

Mortality is a dangerous place. A principle purpose of our being here is to learn to discern between good and evil. If it were as simple as identifying a person to whom we can attach ourselves to be saved, many more people would be saved. Instead, we are adrift and constantly bump up against putative truth. Most of it will be false, some of it will be true. Most messengers will be completely false, and some few only a little false.

When we encounter anyone who has more light and truth than we do, our objective is to obtain all they have, become as close to God as they are, and then go find more light and truth elsewhere.

Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Most people are incredibly naive and will fall for any schmuck claiming spiritual experiences. Others are more discerning, but make a man their connection to God when they have validated some of his experiences and/or teachings. This latter case is common in the Bible, where on various occasions men would attach themselves to some prophet. These "schools of the prophets" are interesting. Can you recall the name of even one member of them, or one work they did? You can't, despite the fact that you can name the prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. You see, content with making a man their idol, these people never ascended to connecting directly to God. Exceptions include Joshua, who created his own connection with God independent of Moses, and Elisha, who did the same independent of Elijah.

If you make a man your connection with God, you are telestial, which means eternally limited in how much you experience God. You certainly will never surpass your idol's experiences with God, because at best the light and truth you receive is limited to what he has already received. More likely, you will never attain even that, as those who trust in the arm of the flesh do so in lieu of repenting, and God cannot tolerate sin in the least degree.