Baba says, ‘you have to be dead to this world and go to Him.‘
For half a cycle, Ravan has been my teacher. I have been living life the way he taught me how. He told me that my value comes from roles, relationships and accomplishments. He told me that nothing is free, I have to earn everything – not just my livelihood but even love, respect, and acceptance. When I perform right, I will have a seat at the table. When I behave well i.e. according to the latest definition of ‘good behavior’, then I will be accepted as a good person. It’s the survival of the fittest, he taught me, you have to fend for yourself. That means, learn to hustle, and elbow your way through the pack. That’s what gets appreciated and rewarded.
So I tried living life this way for birth after birth- killing myself each time I thought, felt or acted in this way. I couldn’t understand it- I was doing everything just as I was taught and yet, I kept getting unhappier, emptier, more unfulfilled and just plain sad. Somewhere deep down, I knew there was someone that could help me, that had helped me before and so I called out. And He came.
I’ve come just for you, He said, as He introduced Himself to Me. I, the soul, recognized Him as the Beloved Whom I had been seeking. He has the pure love, respect and acceptance I had been seeking. He offers it unconditionally and completely free. I believe Him, I understand Him but have I accepted Him? or am I still in the bondage of Ravan’s conditioning where I simply can’t wrap my head around the fact that anything can be free? ‘But look at you’, says Ravan, ‘God can’t possibly love you! He is the Almighty and you are a sinner! In fact, you made so many mistakes just this week…you mess up all the time…all that anger, that bad attitude you have…c’mon, you don’t seriously think He respects you, do you?’
‘I am the Spiritual Flame‘, He says and ‘you are all the moths‘. There are different types of moths. There are those that fly straight into the flame, then there are those that circle around still thinking, still wondering and then there are those that see from a distance but don’t dare come close.
Let me realize that God loves me right now! He is my Father and I am His long lost and now found, most beloved child. He doesn’t just say that to make me feel good or because He is polite, it’s the truth. To be able to accept this truth and walk with God, I have to unlearn every single thing that I have been taught by Ravan because every single thing he has taught me is a lie. ‘You have to be dead to this old world to go to Him’, says Baba.
Ravan tells me: ‘if you really want God to love you and respect you, you’ve got to earn it. When you overcome that anger, change that attitude, become sweet….then, He will love you’. He tells me, ‘remember what you did 5 years ago, that’s just too big of a mistake, that’s a deal breaker! God just doesn’t like that at all. Even if you repent, He may never really completely forgive you’. He asks, ‘who do you think you are that God should love you as much as you think He does! what have you accomplished, what have to you done that’s so spectacular that God should waste any of His time with you! Those other souls have served, they’ve given lectures, done so much…and look at you!’. Lies, lies, and more lies!
Let me realize that contrary to what I have been taught, right behavior is not the basis or the criteria for a relationship with God. Only faith is. Faith is to stand before God, believing what He says about me. It is to stand before Him knowing that all my sins have not just been forgiven but in fact, God no longer remembers them. It is to know that nothing I have done or will do is a surprise to Him, He knew me before I knew Him. In fact, He is here to remind me of who I truly am- before Ravan got his paws on me, of my relationship with Him and my full story.
I cannot ‘buy’ or ‘earn’ His love with my good behavior. God’s love is not for sale! I can’t buy His love with good habits, or by ensuring that I don’t miss Amrit vela or Murli or by giving a lot of lectures. He loves me right now, as I am, for who I am…whether I like it or not. He has already adopted me and made me His child. Yes, He wants me to do better in some areas because He knows that it’s going to help me live a better, more fulfilling life but it has nothing to do with His love for me. And in fact, until I realize this, accept and experience His love for me, I will not be able to change.
Only I am the Purifier, He says, it is only through My remembrance that you become pure. I cannot transform myself on my own. I can only do it in partnership with God and I won’t partner with Him if I consider myself a lowly sinner that doesn’t ‘deserve’ His company or love or help. Here I am, trying to ‘earn‘ His love by first changing myself when in fact, it is only His love that can change me! His love is the alchemy that transforms. Let me beware of Ravan’s deception! Let me get it down deep into my bones that God cannot love me any more than He loves me right this minute. Nothing I do well can make Him love me any more and nothing I can do wrong can make Him love me any less. They are mutually exclusive.
So to change, to be purified, I have to fly into the Flame and die alive from all these old body conscious beliefs. On the surface it sounds scary but when I fly into the Supreme Flame, the only things that burn away are the falsehoods and strings of bondages holding me back, I receive a new nature, I come out the other side completely transformed. If I am still circling the Flame, thinking of how I can earn or deserve or prove, then I have it backwards. Chances are I am living pressured trying to ‘fix’ myself, stressed and unhappy. ‘If you are unhappy, it must be one or the other body conscious habit‘, He says. Habits are not just gross habits but deep set beliefs also create habits in terms of how I think, speak and act. Let me check myself today.
To stand in faith before God accepting His vision of me despite how I ‘feel’ about myself is to surrender to Him, it is to fly into the Flame. Yes, I believe and I know that God loves me and accepts me and approves me and that it has absolutely nothing to do with my behavior. He loves me because I am His child and it is with this right that I confidently and boldly fly in. I don’t try to change myself on my own strength, I partner. I offer myself to be changed the way He wants me to change. I die alive.