My Journey


Ron Shoemaker,

Either at the end of my high school years or shortly thereafter, my father's sister gave him a copy of “Messages From Jesus and Celestials,” volume II, received through James E. Padgett and published by Dr. Leslie R. Stone. I noticed the address I could use to write to Dr. Stone and so our correspondence began. I subsequently met him in April 1960, when I was visiting Washington, D.C. after being discharged from the military. A short time later, I met Rev. Gibson after he moved to the capital to work more closely with Dr. Stone and Dr. Samuels.

As I continued to read the messages from a variety of writers, the messages from John seemed to have special meaning for me. There was the constant referral to the Divine Love as opposed to something called the natural love. The messages kept insisting the love we humans have at birth is distinctly different from the love that God has. The Great Soul's Divine Love was unique and functioned within a totally separate paradigm. In terms of man's soul and its natural love, the messages kept pointing out that man was created in the image of God's Soul and Its Divine Love.

So my questions started to come. What was it that made the Divine Love different from the natural love? What did it mean to be an image? What did the Prayer mean when it referred to God as being, “All Holy?”

If man's love was an image of God's Love, then some of the same characteristics must exist in both loves. I knew that I could feel compassion, empathy, forgiveness regarding others, so it would be natural to assume that God's Love could experience the same qualities, the same emotions. What would be the advantage of possessing a Divine Love as opposed to a natural love?

As I continued reading the messages, it soon became obvious that prayer was an important element in spiritual growth and development. I learned that prayer was an essential component in helping me stay oriented toward spiritual unfoldment and not fall into the cauldron of this world's myriad distractions - such as, how much money can I make and how fast?

It was about this time that I had a dream. I found myself looking through a telescope at an object that was, I thought, completely in focus. In my view, the object I was observing was perfectly clear - precise in every detail. As I was concentrating, someone reached over my shoulder and ever so slightly adjusted the focus. To my surprise, the object I thought was completely in focus became ever more definite and explicit, ever more lucid. The lesson I took from this experience was that my relationship to truth need not be static. Spiritual progress is always possible. No matter how clearly I perceive a spiritual truth, or how fully I think I experience a truth, it is always possible to achieve a more thorough and meaningful understanding.

As I prayed for the Divine Love, I realized after a while that the Divine Love had removed the cause of pain I felt. The source of the pain, the hurt, no longer raised its ugly head. The walls I had built to protect myself from the pain others had caused came down, as if they were melted away, so that my love was no longer incarcerated behind the barriers I had created.

I found that my love that had been imprisoned was now free to flow uninhibited to those who had caused my pain; no longer was I controlled by what others had done. I was free to express my love according to the needs of others. What I discovered was that with forgiveness comes the capacity to forgive and the freedom to be true to myself. I found that forgiveness and freedom are two sides of the same coin; they are natural twins.

As my thoughts wandered back to the meaning of the word “image,” I imaged a painter who lives in a three dimensional world and decides to paint a self portrait of herself. No matter how perfectly the portrait portrays the painter, the portrait will never be the painter; it will always be a two dimensional image, a copy of that which is genuine. The painter may continue to be dynamic, expressing her creative energies in myriad ways; while the image is basically static.

A farmer, who takes a photo of his favorite tractor, knows the difference when comparing that which is genuine to that which is an image. When it is time to prepare his fields for planting, it is the genuine tractor the farmer uses to do the work, not the image. The possibilities inherent in the image are radically different from those of the painter. I came to realize the possibilities of man's soul, the image, no matter how perfect, is radically different from those of the Great Soul; that which is genuine.

Imagine a glass of water and next to it is a photo of that glass of water. The former is three dimensional and the latter is two dimensional. The possibilities inherent in the glass of water are radically different from the possibilities of the photo that depicts the glass of water. It is the actual glass of water that can quench your thirst, not the photo, the image.

As it dawned on me that man's soul and its natural love are limited, I realized they are finite. There are boundaries beyond which they cannot venture. I understood, when the limited possibilities of the human soul and its natural love are manifested, there are no other choices available.

At some point in my spiritual growth, the significance of the Divine Love presented a different picture than the natural love. The Divine Love is genuine and authentic. It is not an image of something else. It was not created as the natural love was. The Divine Love and Its attributes are self sustaining, always present; they never die, cease to exist or fade out because of the changing environment. To experience the Divine Love and Its attributes, or as I prefer to call them, dimensions, is like walking into a three dimensional world for the first time.

For me, the Great Soul is the perfect embodiment of the Divine Love; the Great Soul expresses fully and completely Divine Love in all of Its infinite possibilities. The one perfect Being in reality who is All Holy.