Great discussion, Dan and Ian. As I've posted here on other threads, my search for the truth wasn't even a search on my part. It was more as if God was waiting patiently for me to find Him.
I'm thinking now this had to do with my being a reader... as I was always reading something or other since my childhood days. When my sister talked to me for two years about the messages, it went in one ear and out the other. But when I finally said to her, "Give me that book," that was all it took. Simply reading the messages, I knew without a doubt they were true.
"...the great work that lies before you and us is to cause the truths which you are receiving to be presented to these people in such a way that they will not be satisfied to rest in the security of their old beliefs, but be persuaded to seek for the truth outside of the teachings of their creeds. And this I can say, that if these people will have such an awakening, and seriously and honestly seek for the truth, they will not hesitate to believe that they have been mistaken in their beliefs, and will not be satisfied until they learn the truth."
Why I was helped I don't know Dan, but I'm 100% sure I received help, and as I look back at some of these events I see snippets of the work done, leading me here and there, showing me this and that and inspiring me with thoughts, moulding me as it were. The amount of proof that this was happening and still is leaves me without any doubt whatsoever.
I knew the messages were true too Joan, it didn't take all that long either before I was totally convinced and that came with the first inflowing of divine love. It seems some things that are in the messages came to us in other ways before we had it all written down in front of us, maybe this is the attraction that is needed to join the two together.
Shortly after I commenced to read the messages I remember a great feeling of wonderment, and another feeling of relief because now I knew that i wasn't alone with these thoughts that didn't seem to fit into this world.
Joan wrote: I'm thinking now this had to do with my being a reader...
Me too Joan. In the early seventies you'd find me in the book store at the end of Main Street in Santa Cruz, hanging out and reading everything spiritual. However, you would not find me in the traditional orthodox Christian isle as it didn't speak to my heart with truth. I still enjoy reading and I have bookcases all over my house. We suspended our cable TV service and get but a few local stations with rabbit ears, which we don't watch much. Reading for us is a part of every day Life like praying. It's good for the soul to read about God's Love and the benefits to those who partake of this gift. Your book of testimonies is a perfect example of filling ones mind with positive, uplifting and loving stories of transformation and change. You are a true testament to the Father's Divine Love Joan. Thank you sweet sister for your awesome contribution.
Ron Shoemaker sent me something he has been working on about why the first parents refused the offer of the Divine Love from God.
I'll post it for him as this was his wish.
Thanks Ron, it's very insightful and meaningful.
The Glass of Water
The Divine Love is self-sustaining and universal in its inclusiveness. It flows unrestricted to all people. The natural love all humans are born with is an image of the Divine Love our Father possesses. This image is the pure and sublime expression which embodies the essence of what it means to be human … the capacity to love one another the way you would like to be loved. As a being that has free will, my soul filled with natural love provides me with a sense of direction as to how I ought to feel, think and behave. If I accept my natural love's desire, my soul becomes my compass, my pole star, seeking to influence my choices. Unlike the Divine Love, though, the natural love as an image of the Divine is not self-sustaining. It is finite. Its qualities such as hope, empathy, kindness and wisdom are finite. The natural love and its characteristics are like the reflection I see in the mirror. The only reason the image in the mirror continues is because I am there. If I leave, the reflection disappears. Like the reflection in the mirror, the natural love as an image of the Divine Love is not self-sustaining.
When we step onto this bridge called earth, in addition to a soul filled with natural love, we acquire a mind, with its capacity to reason and rationalize, a spirit body and a physical body. This bridge takes us from the realm of soul to the world of spirit. In a longer or shorter time we all complete this crossing. While my soul, filled with natural love, may perceive the world in terms of treating others the way I would like to be treated, my mind with its capacity to reason and rationalize may choose other criteria. My home, formal and informal education and general experience all helped to form my mindset. On what pre-suppositions, values and attitudes will my frame of mind be founded ? Depending on these assumptions, what my mind decides is in my best interest may be at odds with what my soul desires. If the flowering of my natural love says I need to treat others the way I would want to be treated, and my mind decides it is important to acquire material wealth or power over others, a potential conflict is in the making. Both will seek to influence my free will. Will my decision be to compromise or go with one or the other? My mind's ability to reason and rationalize may show me that my soul's aspiration of treating others the way I would like to be treated will not enable me to accumulate much material wealth. If I choose to make my mind's objective dominant, then the desire of my soul's natural love will be pushed to the periphery. My energy and time will become devoted to gaining material wealth. As this happens, my soul's desires may become less and less influential until the wishes of my soul's natural love becomes completely subservient to my mind. When my soul and its natural love seemingly die and no longer seek to influence my free will, my mind will then become dominant. As I thought about this, it dawned on me that the natural love in a terrorist's soul had become incarcerated to the reasoning and rationalizing of the terrorist mindset to the point that it seems logical and justifiable to explode a bomb, knowing innocent people will be killed.
Like everybody else, I had to deal with what civilization bequeathed. There was the possibility for intellectual pursuit, the pressure to gain material wealth and other numerous problems that always seem to need attention; what to have for dinner, do the kids need a ride home from after school activities, on and on. There was this constant competition for my time and energy. Each part of my life was seeking my commitment. There was little time for contemplation.
With the discovery of the Padgett messages came the intellectual awareness there was a distinct difference between the natural love I was born with and the Divine Love God possesses. It eventually dawned on me that the relationship of the two loves was similar to comparing a glass of water and a photograph of the glass of water. If a glass of water and its photograph are near one another on a table, from a distance they may appear to be the same. It is only when I approach, I notice that the glass of water is three dimensional, the photograph, two. Coming closer, I can see that both the glass of water and its photograph are real, but when I seek to quench my thirst by drinking from the photograph, I realize it is only an image and not authentic. It doesn't matter how perfectly the photograph represents the glass of water, it is still just an image. When I drink from the glass of water, I feel the touch and taste of its authenticity. It is the glass of water that is genuine and can quench my thirst … not its image … even its perfect image.
And so I realized, like the glass of water, the Divine Love is authentic. The natural love, like the photograph, is a finite image of the Divine Love. The natural love's empathy and hope are finite. What it can imagine and create is limited. Beyond the natural love's hope is the unimagined ... a frontier beyond which the the natural love cannot venture. God's offer of His authentic Love makes it possible for mankind to venture beyond the limits the natural love imposes.
When the first parents became conscious of their presences within the grand scheme of nature, they were not encumbered by the trappings of civilization. There were none of the amenities we take for granted: no electricity, no cars, no computers, no nations that claimed land as there own, no communities claiming they were special, no social or educational organizations, taxes or supermarkets. Their life was simple and close to nature. The qualities of their natural love provided them with a limited insight into the nature of their Creator. When the Deity offered the first parents His Authentic Love, there was every reason to expect and hope they would welcome His offer. When comparing their Deity's Love to their own, they saw that His Love and theirs both had similar qualities such as hope, kindness, empathy and wisdom. What the first parents didn't realize was the finiteness of their love. It was this condition of their love and its hope that made it impossible for them to grasp the immortality of God's Love. It restricted what the first parents were able to visualize. In the wisdom and hope of their natural love lay the unimagined. They could not see the infinite possibilities in their God's Love. Not being able to see beyond their finite hope, God's love and theirs appeared to be much the same. From the first parents perspective there was nothing their God could add to their natural love so they refused His offer ... and the offer was withdrawn.
Why would our God offer us the same love we already possessed? That was a question the first parents could have asked. As their Creator, He knew them better than they knew themselves. In seeking to answer that question the first parents may have reasoned that God would not offer them the same love they already possessed but that He had the capacity to offer them a Love beyond their fondest dreams with entirely new dimensions, new possibilities. Then they would have had a reason to accept their God's offer.
At a later period, God re-offered His Love to mankind. Rather than just two people on earth, there were now multitudes. A large number had already crossed the bridge. In addition, mankind had created numerous civilizations, each with varied demands and expectations. With people seeking to succeed in their respective communities, would anybody be sensitive to the re-bestowal of God's Love? Would anyone care? Who would be interested?
With the re-bestowal of God's Love, His Divine Essence once again flooded the habitations of humankind, casting its shadow over all, from the the most sublimed heavens to the abyss of degradation. At the first bestowal, the purity of the first parents natural love enabled them to be sensitive to God's offer. But they chose to continue with their finite natural love. At the re-bestowal, it was the purity of Jesus' soul that enabled him to sense that something new was in the offing. Because his soul wasn't infected with the need to acquire material wealth and power, he was free to follow his spiritual inclinations. Because of his curiosity and the inner voice he chose to listen to, Jesus resolved to travel the path the first parents had not. He chose to explore the unknown and stepped into an area beyond the imagination of finite hope. As he delved into what the first parents didn't imagine, he discovered and experienced the meaning of God's hope for mankind.
As he passed by the table with the glass of water and its photograph, Jesus chose to drink from the authentic glass of water. During his journey, Jesus discovered the difference between God's genuine infinite Love and its image, mankind's finite natural love. In doing so, he uncovered the meaning of the new New Heart … and experienced a New Birth into an unending vista of infinite possibilities. With the New Heart, the finiteness of Jesus' natural love was no more. The the oneness of the qualities of Jesus' love with God's Love established a special relationship, one of Father and child. Jesus was now able to refer to his God as Father.
That's a great explanation to someone new to Jesus' teachings Ron and provides a good explanation of the difference between the natural and the Divine. I think this is an important truth to teach to humankind. Thanks for sharing and I've returned to it several times gleaning nuggets of truth.