You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything in heaven above, or that is or earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth, you shall not bow down to them or worship them . . . (Exodus 20:4-5)
The key to remembering • ! being oneself, and the key to the spiritual life is learning to go and live within the sanctuary of the heart, according to Gnostic Christian teachings. Later, we will give several practices aimed at do.rig just this. Yet here, in general, we may understand going within as looking inward for guidance and direction in our lives, rather than looking outward, and trusting the light-presence within us to guide and direct us in our journey. Amon« Sophian Gnostics, the role of the spiritual teacher, community, and education we receive from our involvement 11 an authentic wisdom tradition is viewed as very important. "fhere is much we can gain from an experienced guide and from other practitioners. Yet, a spiritual education is mean! to draw out that which is within us. The teacher and community serve :o teach us to go live within, and they support and encourage us to do so.
The basic idea of an idol proves very interesting, for it implies a lifeless statue or an empty shell—the appearance of something that has been taken as the source or truth of the thing itself or the idea that the life-power is separate from us, or that our happiness lies in something outside of ourselves. The message here, however, is that the life-power is within us. that it is who and what we most truly are, and that the source of our happiness is to be found, not in anything outside of ourselves, but within ourselves. Granted, various things external to ourselves may serve as vehicles through which we experience different manifestations of the life-power and joy in life, yet the joy we expe: i-ence and our ability to experience the life-power comes from within us. When we forget this, we feel disconnected from life and from tne Spirit, and we do not experience-happiness and satisfaction in c ¡r lives. If one considers the worst behaviors of human beings and the extreme negativity that can haunt us, one will see that it all comes from our forgetting who and what we truly are and losing touch with o r true being.
Essentially, anything which causes us to forget our soul of light and true being, the indwelling Christ, is an idol. Anything we place as the axis of our universe and life, other than this true being, is an idol. Anything which causes us to lose awareness of the sacred unity or that distracts us from our true lite-path is an idol.
This latter term, life-path, is very important. According to Sophian teachings, each person has a true life-path, or what is often called the mission of the soul in this life. This is reflected in our inmost heart's desire and in our natural talents and abilities, and it is integral to who ard what we arc. It is not something found outside of us. It is deep within us, as though the yearning in the depths of our soul Because we tend to live only in surface consciousness and cling to preconceptions and expectations about ourselves that have been imposed from outside of us, oftentimes we become distracted from our life-path and follow along another way which docs not actually reflect and express our inner or Christ self. One's fulfillment can only happen by way of one's own life-path. and one is that path. It is something we bring forth from within ourselves and cannot be found outside of ourselves, save perhaps as a reflection.
To express this commandment in the simplest way, we might echo the favorite saying of Joseph Campbell, "Follow your bliss." The only thing Sophians would point out is that, often, what we think to be o r heart's desire at first is not our heart's desire at all. It is something that has come from outside of us. Thus to follow one's bliss, one must go and live within the sanctuary of the heart.
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This work on 2012 will attempt to note them allfrom the concepts andinvolvement by the authors of the Bible and its interpreters and theprophecies depicted in both the Hopi petroglyphs and the Mayan calendarto the prophetic uttering of such psychics, mediums, and prophets asNostradamus, Madame Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, and Jean Dixon.