The Sphere of Sabbath

Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Of COURSE Jesus healed on the Sabbath! The Sabbath is the sphere of heaven hovering, resting over earth, merging with earth, tantalizing us with the hope of completion and healing, justice and mercy and beauty and rest. Jesus, the Word made flesh, joined heaven to earth and earth to heaven, as we say in the Christmas blessing.  And heaven, of course, not as a place in the sky (do I even have to say this?) but a quality, an influence, a consciousness, a beauty at the heart of the unfolding universe. 

Scene in heaven, Gherarducci, Gradual, c.1370

But then I got thinking. What makes human beings even conceive of the possibility of a heaven, Nirvana, Valhalla, Elysium, Paradise, or that vague euphemism you hear in funeral parlors, “a better place” ? Why is the the human imagination predisposed to the idea of any sort of life after death? Maybe we sense eternal consciousness passing through us within time. So our ideas of an afterlife come from an intuition of that part of us that, for lack of a better word, borrows us for self-revelation.

When we “bliss out” we “lose ourselves” to eternity, although we may “return” in a flash. These are words we use to describe the indescribable. People who have mystical experience confess that the Reality of connecting nothingness or everythingness makes ordinary life seem “fake”. Similarly, I’ve interviewed plenty of people who experienced clinical death who fear death no more. (They would pass on the pain part, but death itself is anything but fearful.)

I have a suspicion that we participate in creating heaven. We create heaven through our evolving consciousness. Heaven unfolds and evolves as we do – which is why the battle between good and evil takes place on the heavenly planes as well as on earth. Heaven is what our consciousness will make it – characterized by universal compassion or strident exclusivity. The strident ones are missing an important piece of information. We’re all ONE. Unfortunately, because of our inescapable interconnection, if we sentence others to hell, we fall along with them. THAT’S the Judgement Day. We influence the sphere of becoming so we must work at it now.

That Jesus healed on the Sabbath is the very sign we’re looking for. We meet somehow. Our pain relieved, our longings satisfied, our desires fulfilled. And not just ourselves, but all being. A Dreamer’s dream we dream and love and sacrifice and die for.

We say that if a temple, or a symbol, or an image helps you to realize the divine within, you are welcome to it. Have two hundred images if you like. If certain forms and formulas help you to realize the divine…have, by all means, whatever forms, temples, whatever ceremonies you want to bring you nearer to God. But do not quarrel about them: the moment you quarrel, you are not going Godward; you are going backward toward the brutes.

Swami Vivekananda
quoted from The Sun magazine, February 2008

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One Response to “The Sphere of Sabbath”

  1. deb blakley Says:

    Thank you. The words you speak ring as truth in my spirit. I thank you for the blessing of these words.

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