The Plan behind the Plan
The Impersonal Life clearly addresses the role of ego, intellect, and body as elements of our spiritual path. It tells us that these faculties are all intended to be used in the service of spirit, utilizing our capacity to express divine attributes in form. “Good” and “evil” are determined not by the nature of these faculties, but how we use them. We can use the intellect and body to create heaven on earth, or to create hell on earth. We have all seen and done both.
Money offers us an example easy to understand. We have all heard that “money is the root of all evil.” There is nothing at all evil about money. It is simply a form of energy we employ according to our beliefs and intentions. More accurately, fear and unconsciousness associated with money make its effects evil, or cause pain and suffering. Only our beliefs determine results. When we approach money from the consciousness of love, appreciation, celebration, connection, kindness, and service, it becomes an extraordinary vehicle to bring more light into the world.
Giving the ego, intellect, and body undue power, we adopted false vision, believing that appearances are real, and that the real is simply an appearance. (If you haven’t already read Richard Bach’s Illusions, do so. This brilliant simply-stated parable masterfully highlights the nature of truth and illusion.) The Impersonal Life tells us that even the foray into illusion is a part of the plan for our awakening:
All this I did purposely, however, through the agency of Desire, in order to lead you consciously into the heart of Earth conditions. While this false vision, inspired by Desire, caused many mis-steps and much trouble and suffering, and you gradually lost confidence in your Self – in Me, the Impersonal One within, —in fact, you forgot Me, so that you did not know where to turn in your helplessness; yet it was only through your thus losing the memory of your Divine estate, and centering all your consciousness in these earthly conditions, that I could develop your human mind and will, and all your faculties, and provide your human body with the strength and powers that would enable Me to give perfect expression to My Divine Idea on Earth, which eventually must BE.
So there is a divine plan behind our human plans. Even the foray into illusion is an element in the greater design of truth. Many spiritual teachers call human beings “masters of limitation” in that we have agreed to dive into the consciousness of limitation so we could find the exhilarating freedom of discovering that we are not at all limited; that we are not bodies, but expressions of God; that the earth cannot stop us, since our true identity exists far beyond the parameters of time and space. The world is our playground, but not our home.
If you find yourself struggling with an issue, ask yourself, “How has this experience led me to discover greater truth? How do I now know more about who I am and what I am here to do? How has this experience brought me closer to living my true purpose?” When you come to these answers, you discover the divine purpose behind the experience, and you have graduated from it. Then there is no further purpose to the experience, and it disappears.
Paul in the Book of Corinthians said, “we see through a glass darkly.” We do not see life at it is, but instead we see through the filter of the intellect and our beliefs. If our beliefs are aligned with truth, we see the wonder and beauty of life. If our beliefs are misaligned, we see distorted views, and evil seems more real than good. Yet there is a Good that exists beyond the realm of human judgment. As Rumi said, “Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing there is a field. I will meet you there.”
The Impersonal Life invites us to that field. Such a life is impersonal in that it exists beyond the realm of human personality. The word “personality” derives from the Greek word, “persona,” which means “mask.” This term captures the truth that there is more to our true self than the personality. The personality is simply the costume we wear as we act on the stage of the world. Behind our masks we are all brilliant actors, each playing the part we chose.
The Impersonal Life assures us that our part is leading us from apparent good and evil to ultimate Good that does not have an opposite. In the process we must trust that all things are working together on behalf of our cherished awakening to the divine within us and around us; to the truth that the divine is us.