According to Gnostic Christianity, within each person there is a divine intention for this life, which functions to give life and consciousness an underlying coherence. If we lose contact with this inner intention, which is our true will we lose the coherence of our life and consciousness. Our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions conflict with one another, negativity enters, and our real presence and power in life dissipates and is dispersed. When this happens, our passion and motives that once supported our goals seem to betray and abandon us, leaving us profoundly helpless and unresolved. All temporal pleasures eventually come to an end, and all good intentions meet with constant attacks. Life then seems a continuous struggle, requiring great effort just to keep at it, and failure is more common to us than success in our endeavors. Seeing this, we find that life is largely a struggle to get organized—a straggle of self-ordering. It becomes clear that we need to gather our consciousness together in a coherence of some form, one not found outside of ourselves but within us.
The distraction and constant demands of the outer life can and do diminish our presence and power, so long as we lack a clear and conscious intentionality or noble ideal and lack the development of an inner center in consciousness, and an interior life. As long as we continue living in reaction to the outside and everything happening in the surface consciousness, we leave ourselves completely open to psychic and spiritual forces at play in the field of existence we call daily life. We will have little, if any, strength for the development ct the interior life in the Spirit. The natural consequences are sorrow, suffering. lack of the Spirit-connection and the prosperity, success, health, and happiness for which we so deeply yearn.
Finding ourselves fragmented, we need to gather and collect ourselves. Because we have unconsciously aiiowed ourselves to become so scattered, we need to consciously seek to heal and become whole. The key becomes the recognition and realization of an inner center and a gathe; :tg of ourselves into that center. In so doing, we will find a distinct living presence and power emerges in our experiences, and a force of truth and light begins to increase in our lives. When Gnostic Christians speak about the light-presence and the Christ self, this is what they are talking about—an inner center of true being.
Prayer, meditation, and sacred ritual can be understood as a gathering and refocusing of our attention inward and upward, Godward. This inner effort, which is a gathering of al! aspects and-levels of our consciousness and an alignment of our minds, hearts, and lives with truth and light in us, naturally leads to an inner peace, joy, self-empowerment, and the restoration of our Spirit-connection. Centered inwardly in this way. we become aware of the divine intention of our lives and discover a force of will and love which gives coherence to our I ves. According to the masters of the tradition, this can lead to the experience of a new heaven and new earth—a new and divine life.
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