Grand Design: A Simply-Stated, User-Friendly Guide to Living in the Universe

Grand Design: A Simply-Stated, User-Friendly Guide to Living in the Universe

by Paddy McMahon

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571741547
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date: 04/28/2000
Series: Grand Design Series
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.44(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.64(d)

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PART I

Light Is the Illumination of the Soul

Today I would like very briefly to discuss the significance of light. You know it within its ordinary meaning as something by which you see, such as the light of day, or electric light, or even the light of understanding. There is of course also light meaning not heavy. But light in a spiritual sense means much more. It is illumination of the soul, of the whole being, so that ultimately all darkness is gone. Light spreads and eliminates (not illuminates, although that may come first) darkness. This is also tied in with vibration. The Earth is a heavy vibration and so is the physical body that keeps the soul chained to that heaviness. At physical death the soul (or real being) leaves the heaviness behind and is no longer constrained by the limitations of that heaviness. It is feeling light as opposed to heavy although it has probably not yet eliminated the darkness of misunderstanding from its perceptions. It is a strange paradox that the assumption of heaviness as, for example, going through an Earth experience may help to accelerate the process of becoming light, rather like going on a diet, I suppose! When Jesus talked about himself as being the light of the world he was using light in its widest meaning of full understanding, full acceptance, full freedom of spirit, not weighed down by any darkness of bigotry or intolerance or false pride or false humility or any restrictive emotion. "Let there be light" is the best wish that one can make on behalf of all. So a lot of what I say will be devoted to spreading light into dark corners.

God, the Animating Force

In talking about God I immediately run into the limitations of language. God is not a person so I cannot say "He" or "She." I don't want to use the word "It" either because it's not expressive enough. At the risk of being more than usually repetitive I'll use the word "God" where normally "He," "She," or "It" might suffice.

Each of us is a part of God, that is, the spirit beings that we are. So God is at least the sum total of the parts. But God is more than the total of the parts.

Somewhere at the back of your mind there's a memory of having been told that God had no beginning and will have no end. Everything in the physical Earth plane points to beginnings and ends; day and night, sleeping and waking, birth and death. So the idea of infinity is alien to humanity and very difficult, if not impossible, for a human being to comprehend in all its grandeur. Yet, having said that, I have to go on to say that God is an infinity of spirit existing through infinity. In other words, God is not limited by any concept of time or space. Therefore we cannot think of God in terms of time or space or, consequently, beginning or end.

Then how did it all start; the world, etc.? In the sense that everything is contained in God, everything has always been. God is eternally creative, however, so the structure or format of things keeps changing. Thus nothing ever dies but evolves into something else. All creation evolved out of God as an expression of the love that God is. Each part of creation is infused with that love and in turn expresses it in a creative way. That's easy enough to understand, I think. You can think of examples such as an artist, a writer, a carpenter, a cook, or anybody who ever writes a friendly letter or says a kind word to anybody else, or grass growing, a flower blooming, a bee making honey, a cat purring, a dog licking your face or wagging its tail, or water flowing, a spider building its web, or a bird in its nest.

Of all our sessions this is the most difficult because I am trying to convey an understanding of the infinity of God in words which are themselves an expression of finite concepts. If you don't understand a word you look it up in a dictionary which gives its meaning in another word or other words; then the word has a meaning for you which is related to your own limited understanding or experience of what the other word or words convey. I will attempt to make myself understood in simple terms. At the same time I want to remind you that when communication is reduced to words, unanimity as to the interpretation of the words is rarely achieved.

The most comprehensive and I hope most comprehensible definition of God I can give is this: God is an infinity of spirit, who has existed and will continue to exist through infinity. God is the source of all creativity, the life force of all creation, whose inspirational creativity never ceases nor ever will cease, who cannot be contained or confined in any limited or finite idea such as a person, place, or thing. All creation, and each bit of creation individually, is a part of God, but it cannot be said that God is the sum of all creation because that would be putting a limit to God and there is no limit. Each part of God has a share in God's infinite creativity; above all else, God is love, infinite love.

The word "love" conveys many different things to people. It's a much used and, I suppose I could say, much abused word. It's probably one of the most frequently used words of all. It's used in connection with a feeling a man may have for a woman or a woman for a man, which may be a thing of romance or of passion; or the feeling a person of one sex may have for a person of the same sex, which may have nothing to do with homosexuality or may indeed be a homosexual thing; or the feeling a parent may have for a child or a child for a parent; or the feeling friends may have for each other; or the feeling a person may have for an animal or an animal for a person; or the feeling a person may have for a possession, or an activity, or an experience; or the feeling a person may have for the God he envisages, or for a saint. It may be taken to mean anything from lust to ecstasy of a mystical kind. The wide variety of meanings given to it is a useful thing to bear in mind when you are trying to visualize the all-embracing concept of God. Every person has experienced and continues to experience love in different ways within the variety of meanings assigned to it. If a person says he loves someone or something he is giving expression to a feeling in a way that makes sense to him at a particular point in time.

When I say that God is love, then, what do I mean? I mean that God is the animating force in all expression that includes all life and all activities of life. I know what you're asking; surely not all activities of life, for example, wars, murders, oppression, rape, torture? Or the creation of an ugly-looking beast like the hippopotamus? Or irritating insects like fleas? Bear with me for a minute when I say that all life and all activities of life without exception are part of the positive expression of love. In other words, there is no evil. There is apparent evil and to human eyes many people act in such a way and many things are done which can only be described as bad or evil. For instance, how can I say to a mother whose daughter is raped that the force of love animates the man who performed the act of rape and the act of rape itself? Yet, that is the reality. Let me give you an example. A man and a woman meet, are attracted to each other and decide to get married. They have two children, a boy and a girl, both of whom they love very much. Time passes and the children grow up. The boy, now a young man, becomes part of a particular group which indulges in a lot of violent activities, including robbery and rape. The young man participates fully in the group's activities. In the meantime, his sister has channeled her life into a positive stream of respect and helpfulness towards all the people with whom she comes into contact. His parents are worried as a result of their son's behavior. They remember him as an innocent child and they wonder where they went wrong in his upbringing. They talk to him, pray for him, but apparently without success. They continue to love him even as he continues to reject them. In due course the father dies and some time later the mother also passes on. The son had lost all contact with them by this time. He is now much older and by his way of life he has become a coarse and brutal man. Much of his life is spent in recurring prison stretches. In the fullness of time he dies violently as he had lived. Meanwhile the remaining member of the family, his sister, had joined an order of nuns; she lived a most exemplary life and died surrounded by the love of her community.

On the face of it, three of the four people in that family unit were good people and lived positive lives. There is no difficulty in regarding them and their activities as animated by the force of love. The son, however, was apparently an evil man and performed evil deeds during most of his life on Earth. The problem is to accept that the same force of love as animated his parents and sister animated both him and his activities.

If you get a bad boil in your leg the treatment will probably be to lance it and let all the badness out. Love operates in somewhat the same way. The son in my case history had, by the exercise of his free will, built up a reservoir of negativity within himself as a spirit being which the love that he was and is forced out of him during that particular lifetime. The same force of love operating within the recipients of his acts of violence corrected by his acts an imbalance which earlier acts of free will on their part had created in them. He also helped his parents and his sister by creating in them, because of their love for him, a tolerance and a compassion which it would not be possible for them to feel had they not come up against the conflicts which he caused in them by the intimacy of his relationship with them. The very extent of his violence should in due course produce for him a remedial effect in a somewhat similar way to a sharp slap administered to a hysterical person. The old saying that things must get worse before they get better is very relevant in certain circumstances.

In the case history given, there was a lesson to be learned for each of the four people involved. But if God (or love) is the animating force in every person and thing, how come the process of apparent evil ever became necessary; in other words, that love seems to express itself in a seemingly unloving way? Because contrast is necessary for a full appreciation of life. The person who has never experienced cold cannot fully appreciate heat. The person who has never been thirsty or hungry cannot fully appreciate drink or food. A landscape artist would find very little expression in his painting if there were no clouds or shadows to counterbalance or highlight clear skies and light. A playwright's work would be very dull if there were no conflict in it. If you didn't know the feeling of anger you couldn't fully appreciate the value of serenity. The people who have lived through a war are almost invariably the ones who treasure peace most. A person who has never experienced pain cannot reach a full appreciation of the state of freedom from pain. Life on Earth is a learning experience designed to bring the person going through it to a fuller perception of the spirit being that he is. He is, in fact, undergoing a series of training courses geared to the raising of his awareness and consciousness levels. Because of his free will it is up to himself how he responds to the training. But the love within him, indeed the love that he is, will keep on throwing up situations and experiences until he has learned all the lessons he needs to learn to reach the full awareness of that love.

So then things aren't what they seem to be. It is well said that you should never judge the book by the cover. Now the question asks itself; if all this is so, if all the bad as well as the good experiences of Earth existence are part of a broad design of love operating to achieve awareness of itself, how did that same design of love ever allow the state of stunted awareness to come about? That's a big question and I'll have to devote a separate session to it so as not to let this session become too diffuse. I'll confine myself at this stage to saying that a certain number of individual souls, a segment of God if you like, by the exercise of their free will allowed their awareness to become obscured to such an extent that in some cases it has seemed to become almost non-existent. (We're back to the poor hippopotamus and the flea again!) The force of love could not allow this to continue; it isn't possible for it to negate itself or any part of itself, and so began the long journey back to self-realization. Some souls have still to start the journey, others have made it all the way back, and the rest are at various stages in between.

Much of the teaching about God has centered on a divinity concentrated in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As I have said, God cannot be identified in personal terms except in the sense that God is present in all persons. Therefore, God cannot be confined in three persons unless they are seen as representing all life. I would suggest that it would be very helpful to use the symbolism of the Father in terms of those souls who never lost, or have regained, their self-awareness. The Son, symbolically, are those who are still at the start of the journey or who have not yet mastered the lessons of Earth. And the Holy Spirit are those who are helping others to find their way; for example, spiritual helpers or guides or guardian angels, whatever you wish to call them. In this way, the chain of cooperation running through all life can be easily seen.

"Who Made the World?"

It's a simple but rather unsatisfying answer to give to somebody asking, "Who made the world?" to say that God did and after that to depend on mystery or faith for further answers.

You have seen it postulated that dinosaurs dominated the Earth for 140 million years and that they became extinct about 65 million years ago. So the world is a pretty old place on that evidence.

I would like to convey as simply as I can why and how the physical world came into existence. I'm not going to go into scientific explanations, I'm merely going to state the facts in a bald sort of way.

God is love. Expression evolved out of love into individual parts each with full free will. The process of evolution is within a time sequence in your terms and I'll explain it on that basis, although I would just mention that time does not exist in the real world of spirit. However, in the physical world you operate within a time frame and that's your reality while you're there so there's no point in giving you details in a way that doesn't fit your concept of reality.

Over a million billion years ago (with a billion equaling a million millions; so long ago that there's no point in trying to put a time scale on it) the evolution into individual parts that I mentioned above happened. Each part, or soul, was spiritually equal to every other soul; each was equally endowed with the spirit of God (or love). The number of souls who thus evolved was a billion billion billions (with a billion again equaling a million millions). I will go into the various evolutionary stages or vibrations later, and when I do I will try to convey a picture of what these souls were doing then and what most of them are still doing now in the state of full awareness. All were, of course, initially in that state.

Some billions of years after the expression into individual souls happened, one soul decided that he would like to run the whole operation. In other words, he wanted to impose his will on all the other souls. During a period of about 50,000 years, he managed to get the support of roughly one percent of all souls, which was a small proportion, but a lot of souls, in his quest for dominance; they were prepared to subordinate their wills to his. (Incidentally you can see now that the proportion used by Jesus when he talked about there being more joy in heaven over one soul who was lost being found than over ninety-nine already saved, or words to that effect, was not a randomly chosen one.) He is commonly known as Lucifer. He drew around him an inner circle, each of whom in turn formed his own inner circle, and so on, so that within a relatively short period of time he established a hierarchy of which he was the head. This development was entirely incompatible with the true nature of spirit but it's an interesting pointer to the importance of free will in the scheme of things. Lucifer by his desire for power used his free will to influence others; they of their own free will allowed themselves to be influenced. At the same time others who had not allowed themselves to be influenced were unable to interfere because of their respect for free will.

When Lucifer found that he couldn't extend his influence any further he decided that he would isolate himself, with his supporters, from the others. It will hardly come as a surprise to you to learn that there was no great battle of the heavens. Again, this would have been incompatible with respect for free will.

Once respect for free will was breached in Lucifer's case, and in the case of all his supporters (who didn't respect their own free will in allowing it to become subordinate to his), there seemed to be nothing to stop it being breached again and again. Eventually the stage was reached where some souls had lost all awareness of their real selves and had become like zombies.

The souls who had not allowed themselves to be influenced by Lucifer observed, with great concern, what was happening. The link of love running through all spirit meant that what was happening to one was happening to all. Out of that concern evolved the world as a system which would provide a means by which lost souls could regain their awareness. In talking about the world I mean the whole universe; sun, moon, stars, planets, including Earth. Existence on Earth is only one of many learning experiences provided for souls.

Everything on Earth is infused with love; for instance, grass, water, stones; but such things aren't souls. They evolved in the Earth scene to help sustain life in physical form so that souls could stay in the Earth vibration.

Life on Earth can be categorized into two forms: stationary, in the sense of not capable of moving around, and non-stationary. Stationary life includes plants, trees, grass, flowers. Non-stationary life includes birds, insects, fish, animals, and human beings. Stationary life, while animated by love, is not soul. Non-stationary life is.

That brings me to the dinosaurs and other life of that kind. I mentioned that many souls lost all awareness of their real selves. They were literally lost. The spirit of love operating through the souls who had not lost their awareness developed a design of existence on Earth related to the state of awareness or non-awareness of souls at a particular point in time; hence the proliferation of insect, bird, fish, animal life. It's all a progression through to man which is the highest state of awareness (although often not obviously so) on the Earth plane.

But what of Lucifer? He had already lost self-awareness by his desire for dominance. The negative progression or regression continued in his case until he too was caught up in the general loss of identity. It is entirely mistaken to think of him as a prince of devils seeking to win over any souls he can for his kingdom of hell. He is as much a part of God as any other soul; he just simply lost his awareness of who and what he was. He has long since regained his lost position and he is now truly a bearer of light to those who are still in need of it.

I referred to non-stationary life being soul. If I may, I'll take the example of the hippopotamus and the flea. Each of these has lost all awareness of its real self. It's a strange and probably repulsive idea to think of a soul being housed in the body of a flea, not to mention that of a hippopotamus. Traditional teaching in Western countries is generally to the effect that only human beings have souls (as distinct from being souls). That's not correct.

But, you say, think of all the millions and millions of insects alone; how could each one be a soul? Here's where we come up against another complication. There was nothing to stop individual souls from expressing themselves into parts in the same way as did God. This didn't happen with the souls who never lost their awareness, precisely because they hadn't lost their awareness; they saw the total grand design of love and wouldn't interfere with it. But it did happen with the other one percent some of whom saw it as a means of increasing their numbers until eventually they would outnumber the ninety-nine percent. So they evolved into parts, and the parts in turn evolved into parts, and so on. At this stage the original souls were already in a state of diminished awareness. The process of diminution was intensified as the parts multiplied until some reached the point of no awareness at all. Thus you might have millions of fleas who house parts of one original soul, the soul comprising the whole lot. It wouldn't be accurate to call this a group soul; it's one soul that diffused itself into millions of parts. As awareness increases the parts begin to reintegrate until eventually the complete soul is ready to experience existence housed in a human body.

That's the broad pattern that I have outlined as simply as I can. I was one of the one percent, so were you, so were all the souls who have been through an Earth experience and others who have not, and so were the dinosaurs! It's hard to believe that we were so foolish, but we were. I have been fortunate enough to have found my way back to full awareness and now that I know the joy of it again, it is my dearest wish that all the others of the one percent should regain their original state as quickly as possible.

How many of the one percent have already gotten back? It's a long process and not many have yet made it all the way, but roughly half are well on the way.

Could it all happen again? Yes, of course, given free will. I think, however, that the experience of the one percent will be enough to prevent a repeat performance.

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