Lesson 7: Destiny Of The Soul
Our soul must meet itself and give an account of its activities in the earth. (A Search For God, Book II)
Doth God point out thy failings? The law is perfect. Study to show thyself approved unto an ideal. Have ye an ideal – spiritual, mental, material? Do ye keep the faith as ye profess in thy knowledge? Knowledge without works is sin. Sin lieth at thy door if ye fail to keep the faith. These questions may be answered only in self. NO ONE made anyone a judge! Thy higher, thy soul self is ever the judge. (815-7)
If the universe is a school and the earth a classroom with each experience a lesson in life, is there a test or final exam somewhere in the process? If so, who does the grading? Who passes judgment? And what happens to those who pass and those who fail?
There is no shortage of options with variations from heaven to hell as was noted in the video overview. Or we may simply cease to exist – lose consciousness permanently as atheists insist.
Application: Analyze your own beliefs about the destiny of the soul. What if you died this day? Would you be judged? And by whom? God? Yourself? What grade would you assign yourself at this point in your life? Have you passed or failed? Or in the wording of a Cayce life reading, has the entity lost or gained?
What is the origin of eternity? Eternity is from everlasting to everlasting. (A Search For God, Book II)
For life in its real sense is ever the NOW! For TODAY is set before thee, TODAY if ye will hear His voice! Today, the eternal now, is ever before each entity, each soul; whether in that commonly called materiality or in spirit. (1293-1)
For as He hath given in thee that thou may be the channel, the representative, the agent – yea, the very representative in flesh of Him, then act in thine inner self, act in thine outward expression, as though thou wert (for thou art!) His child, and are heir to all the glories HERE, NOW, of His kingdom. NOT in the future, not of the past! For in the eternal NOW is He ACTIVE in thee. (683-2)
Hence, in the fruits of that – as is given oft, as the fruits of the spirit – does man become aware of the infinite penetrating, or inter-penetrating the activities of all forces of matter, or that which is a manifestation of the realm of the infinite into the finite – and the finite becomes conscious of same. (262-52)
…for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one. (Albert Einstein)
Many religious systems regard ETERNITY as something beyond daily life, something added on after death. Commonly, ETERNITY is portrayed as forever in heaven or hell.
An alternative perspective acknowledges the Oneness of time and affirms that ETERNITY is NOW. From this view, the soul can patiently become aware of the ETERNAL NOW as it attunes within and applies that awareness outwardly in daily living. This is the practice of Patience in which you possess your soul.
This is an advanced exercise. Although it can be approached mentally by reasoning (mathematics and physics), actually it is easiest and most practical to simply experience the ETERNAL NOW by living the fruits of the spirit as demonstrated by Jesus. Thus the Destiny of the Soul can be manifested in the here and now (heaven on earth) by knowing yourself to be yourself and yet one with God – a companion and co-creator with the Divine. This also correlates closely with the experience of being in "God's abiding presence" (ASFG I, Lesson 9).
Application: Try to get in touch with the timeless quality of the ETERNAL NOW in meditation and during your daily activities through the applied spirituality presented in these lessons. Learn to experience yourself as a soul making your way through ETERNITY, finding your way back to your Source.
The Prodigal Soul
Though our soul may have wandered far afield, though it may make its bed in hell, thought it may take the wings of the morning and fly to the utmost parts of the universe, eventually it must wend it way back to the source from whence it came, to its God, its Maker. (A Search for God, Book II)
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father… (Luke 15:11-32)
The parable of the prodigal son is a universal story of parent and child; rebellion and reunion; regression and development. The portrayal of the relationship between Creator and created as parent and child is consistent with teachings of Jesus. Jesus often referred to God as father.
One can certainly wonder whether the son that went away and returned became a better companion to the father than his brother who stayed at home. The story does almost seem to suggest that the prodigal son developed more from his adventure and returned a more loving and appreciative child for the experience.
Application: Look within and reflect on your own feelings about this parable. Do you identify particularly strongly with any one of the characters (father, son, brother) more than the others? Have you experienced any of these patterns within your own life? Do you believe that every soul, regardless of how far astray they may have wandered do eventually make it back to the Source transformed by the experience? Or is the concept of eternal torment in hell more valid as the destiny for some wayward souls? Does this parable affect your attitude toward people you may know who are manifesting this pattern?