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Excerpt from:

The Journey Upward
Defining Moments in the Life of a Spiritual Psychologist
by Marilyn C. Barrick, Ph.D.

Chapter 10
Illumination: Key to Victory

The soul should always stand ajar,
ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.
 –-Emily Dickinson


Our Enemies Are Our Teachers

       Sometimes our enemies are our greatest teachers because they show us what we still need to transmute and redeem within ourselves. So praise the enemy for the lesson! Nicholas Roerich wrote a song of praise to the enemy, which I have found most helpful and recommend to all who are seeking surcease from anger and hatred:

       Praise to the enemy! My thanks to you, enemies and persecutors, within and without. You have been my teachers, and I shall remember your lessons. Through wind and storm and angry waves of the astral sea, I shall not be moved, neither to the right nor to the left, neither up nor down by circumstances, by whatever negatives you hurl at me.
       From your warring I have learned the value of guarding the peace. From your cruelty I have learned kindness. From your hatred I have learned love. Praise be to the enemy!

Lessons from the Mirror of Life

       Let’s take a look at the lessons we may still need to learn. Seeking to fulfill her destiny, our soul entered this lifetime with a veil of forgetfulness drawn over cosmic and earthly history. Yet nestled within sheaths of consciousness were memories of etheric experiences, past lives, lessons learned and others still to be mastered.
       As souls preparing to enter this lifetime, we looked forward to gaining additional self-mastery, balancing our karmic ledger and fulfilling a higher destiny through our service to God. Yet our eagerness was tempered by a sense of apprehension, for we knew that we would face major challenges once we returned to Earth.
       In consultation with our spiritual advisors before re-embodying, we considered the karmic equation and the parents who would receive us. Although our birth family would be an aspect of our karma, whether auspicious or problematic, we said, “I’m ready. Here I come!” And all of a sudden, here we were, born to our father and mother in a new body, having the opportunity of a clean white page upon which to write our life story.
       As babes we had an aura of innocence and a purity that radiated from within—we were enfolded in God’s love and protection. Yet at the level of the soul, we carried age-old memories and attitudes, ideas, emotional patterns and reactions to past-life experiences. And all of this would interact with the dynamics of the people around us—parents, siblings, relatives and friends—and would be tests of our soul mastery. If we passed a test, we would redeem misused energy and expand our mastery. If we failed, we would add to our pile of negative karma.
       Our family’s negative aspects would mirror our own, providing us the opportunity to balance karma and to self-correct. And as Serapis Bey has told us, what we would object to in others would most likely be the polarization of our own worst faults. Throughout our lifetime, we would learn a lot about ourselves by paying attention to how we would perceive other people. The great mirror of life would become a tremendous opportunity for our soul’s refinement.

The Givingness of Self

       When we consider all of this, we realize that if we would develop givingness of self and accelerate the upward journey of our soul, we must self-correct, commune with God and forgive others their trespasses. Jesus portrayed this givingness of self in every way during his mission on Earth. Even as he was being crucified, he looked upon the misguided lightbearers and prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
       Jesus did not carry a burden of resentment, revenge or retaliation. He knew his mission, he entrusted his soul to God, and he walked the path of living love. We are called to follow in his footsteps—we are, first and foremost, to love and to forgive.
       In the age of Aquarius we are called to be emissaries of God’s love in every situation, and we are called to heal our soul from the residue of unwise choices made in the past. And that healing will come as we choose to offer divine love, compassion and forgiveness to others and invoke the violet transmuting flame, the great cosmic eraser, for ourselves and for all life. This is the path of the givingness of self—the miracle of God’s transforming power in manifestation during the upward journey of the Aquarian love conqueror.

Disciplining Our Emotions

       Although our intentions may be honorable, the human condition can stand in our way, especially if we allow our emotions to rule us. We can overcome this human tendency if we follow the advice of the Maha Chohan, the representative of the Holy Spirit.
       He tells us, “The disciplining of the emotions must be found in interaction with others. There is no more certain way to gain mastery of the emotions than to have to mingle with people from all walks of life and to always prefer to impart the flame of love and of charity toward those who do not have the flame of harmony.”
       When we follow the advice of the Maha Chohan and are kind and charitable to those we meet along life’s way, we walk the path of righteousness, which is the right use of God’s energy. As we open our hearts and extend the gift of understanding and compassion to other people, we balance karma, add to our storehouse of good deeds and uplift our own soul. And every right decision counts­­Saint Germain tells us he earned his ascension by making two million right decisions. That’s a lot of right decisions! But when we think of how many little decisions we make every day, we can see how they add up.
       We are on that same homeward trek. And as El Morya has told us, “The trek upward is worth the inconvenience!” Many of us are meant to ascend at the end of this lifetime unless we have a further mission to fulfill in the age of Aquarius. If we do have such a mission, it will undoubtedly involve expressing divine love in some way.
       Even as we are called to transmute all that opposes divine love, we are also called to pray for guidance and to develop the givingness of self. We are meant to master our lessons and to be a living example of divine love to everyone we meet.
       As we move through life, we make choices, experience the results, and notice behaviors or reactions inside ourselves that need to change. We begin to recognize wounded parts of our soul from this and other lifetimes, locked as energy patterns in the unconscious—frozen in time, as it were. As a result, we find ourselves drawn to difficult situations, karmic relationships, traumatic happenings, until we see these events for what they are—cosmic lessons about how we have spent God’s energy in the past.

The Cosmic Lightbulb

       Every problematic circumstance brings us face-to-face with ourselves. When the cosmic lightbulb comes on, we see each situation for what it is—an opportunity for soul healing and self-transformation. The stage is set to correct ancient mistakes and present imperfections—and to develop a steady givingness of self that will accelerate our homeward journey.
       So when a challenge comes and we start to react, we need to do an about-face! We need to catch ourselves and inwardly shout, “Halt!” so that we do not indulge in a hasty word, an angry reaction, an impulsive move that would wound another soul—and our own.
       Then, as Saint Germain has advised us to do, we say, “Excuse me just a minute, please.” We exit the situation, make our spiritual calls, restore our composure, and respond thoughtfully, compassionately and helpfully—this is the givingness of self. Yes, it takes effort, but it’s worth it!
       Try it the next time you find yourself about to react in a way that you know you will regret. Practice it in simple situations, then in more difficult ones. And one day the habit of thoughtfulness, compassion and helpfulness will be your instant response to any challenge. You will have put on the garment of the givingness of self.

Be a Devotee of the Living Flame of Love

       Isn’t it true that all of us desire to love and to be loved? Yet we may not fully understand how to love. We are meant to love as God loves, unconditionally, even as the sun shines, the rain falls, the rainbow shimmers—nurturing, blessing the entire earth.
       Unconditional love is a quality of the developed heart. When we give unconditional love, our love does not falter in the presence of human failings. When we draw upon our heart’s strength and affirm, “I will not be moved!” we are unmoved in adverse or problematic circumstances.
       Thus, as devotees of the living flame of love, let us stoke the love fires of the heart when we encounter the malady of anti-love. We know in our heart and soul that the developed heart is enduring, wise and kind in all circumstances. So let us choose to greet difficult situations with a gentle compassion for the human condition and at times with tough love, an illumined love that outwits the dweller and realigns the soul with her Real Self.

Realignment of the Soul

       Here is an affirmation that you may wish to give to strengthen the realignment of your soul with your Real Self:

       I AM one with the mind and heart of God. I AM one with the Divine Mother and the magnanimous heart of Lanello. I AM one with my Real Self.
       I AM one with the flow of light from above. I AM one with the word of truth. I AM a servant of God where I am. I AM a supplier for those in need. I AM one with God-gratitude. I AM a coordinate of the Elohim of God for the turning of worlds!

       Spiritually, we recognize our mighty I AM Presence as our source, our Holy Christ Self as the step-down transformer, and the threefold flame in the secret chamber of our heart as the spark of divinity within us. As we claim the divine power, wisdom and love of our heart flame and determine to be the love of God in manifestation, we affirm our soul’s divine nature and move upward on the ladder of initiation.
       Of course we do not become instant paragons of virtue! We need to fan the flame of divine love in our heart through our thoughts and actions, offering the gift of love to everyone we meet and continuing to do this day after day until inwardly we become as one with that flame.
       When we are intent on perfecting the givingness of self, we choose to behave lovingly even when life is difficult or people around us are grumpy or unreasonable. We remind ourselves to draw on the power of the heart when our human self would prefer to retreat into helplessness. We seek to understand from the heart rather than bursting out in emotional reactivity.

Revere the Divine Child Within

       The Buddha teaches us to look upon all people as our children. I understand this teaching to mean revering the divine child within. Nurturing our soul as the divine child is a spiritual practice that softens our heart and helps us to be mindful of higher precepts, such as benevolence, honesty, generosity and respect. When we relate to ourselves and to everyone we meet as God’s child, that heartfelt caring and givingness of self can heal the wounded soul and uplift the spirit.
       Ask yourself, “How will I offer heartfelt caring to someone today? How will I uplift the soul and spirit of someone today?” Write a note to prompt remind yourself—and then make it a point to do it! You will be humbled and exalted by the joy you feel when you extend your heart to others, when you tell a friend, a loved one or someone you have just met what it is you appreciate them. You’ll make their day!
       Perhaps the greatest love we can give to anyone is the gift of self—our time, attention, caring and understanding. People all over the world—in our neighborhoods, our churches, our families--are thirsty for love. And we can quench that thirst—we can behave lovingly. We can extend God’s love to everyone we meet. The givingness of self is an aspect of our soul’s destiny in the Aquarian age, and the ascended masters and the messengers have prepared us to fulfill that calling. ...

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Copyright © 2006 Marilyn C. Barrick. All Rights Reserved.