SPIRITUAL QUESTIONS FROM DEVOTEE ACHIM
DEAR RASA, YOU WERE ASKING WHAT WE AT THIS GROUP WOULD LIKE TO KNOW FROM YOU. I WOULD BE INTERESTED TO HEAR FROM YOU ABOUT THE YEARS PRECEDING YOUR REVELATORY EXPERIENCE, LIKE YOU WERE ALREADY SUGGESTING EARLIER. YOU HAVE ALREADY TOLD US ABOUT YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE IN THE TIME JUST BEFORE THIS EXPERIENCE, ABOUT THE LIMITLESS DEVOTION YOU WERE EXPRESSING TO GOD. BUT WHY DID YOU DO THAT? WHAT KIND OF EVENTS OR INSIGHTS LED YOU TO THE POINT OF TOTAL SURRENDER?
In the spiritual life, according to my experience, it is the inner Guru, or God within, that guides one to the right destination. When Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one goes there but my me,' without a doubt He meant what He was teaching, what He represented and signified. But also, God is within you, and God truly is guiding you from within. At any time in your life you must understand that God will turn you this way or that way, sometimes unexpectedly. Sometimes God makes you do physical things, sometimes spiritual. Sometimes it is time to pray and be quiet and contemplate, but at other times, God will command you to go outside, even into the public, when you don't even want to. Many times, God made me do things that were the opposite of what religious people would say I should do. You have to hear this voice. I will work my way backward so you will know how I made contact, audibly, with the Presence of God within me. This is a tricky science and it is so complicated, (because each individual is different and has a different path, although all paths lead to God) there can be no absolute formula. The formula, then, is so complicated that the only way you can be sure what you are doing is right is to be able to hear the God within, and then, you must obey.
In life we make crucial decisions. Which relationship we take on, for instance, can make or break us. Which business we enter into can make or break us. Every physical, mental, emotional and spiritual factor comes into play. God knows where to take you, why and when. YOU DON'T. You in the flesh are in darkness, you know nothing! But God knows all, and so, you must hear and obey.
What made me surrender, to answer your question, fully, is that it was the right time and the right place. All conditions were right. You cannot do this until all conditions are right.
All that I knew in late 1981 was that God was telling me to go within, to pray, to be alone, and so on. God does not tell you what She is going to do! To my knowledge, God has never told me ahead of time what was coming but did advise me on things I should or should not do. I believe that God works in secret because the flesh cannot handle the knowledge of what is to come but must simply be guided by God and then the flesh so to speak appears there, and that is it. It is done. And it was God who did it.
1977 TO 1981
In the year 1977 I left my guru, Rev. Verna Talbot. She was tough, mean and hard. She made me feel used. I wrote her up as a 'Guru from Hell.' But she was not from Hell, that was just a way of saying how mean she was.
When I left her, I needed something to focus on, to hold onto. To my surprise, I returned to the Catholic Church. There I had Jesus and Mary and the saints. They served me well.
I began to take all the things the Church teaches to heart once again, and went to Mass. In this paper I will not tell you all the things God did for me - the appearances and gifts - but just what I was doing. (God's gifts will be the next installment.)
Between Mass (where I went not missing a day for three years!) and believe it or not, confession, that kept me focused. Reading lives of saints was inspiring.
During these years I was also a dancer and had a busy life. But my personal life was centered on God. I wanted to make it more so. I struggled toward celibacy. This was a difficult issue. I know everyone has a hard time with this. I don't know if mine was worse. It is a basic human instinct, and a powerful need. To give up basic needs and instincts cannot be done without the grace of God, and much longing for a grace will bring it about.
Now here is an issue I do not see discussed on the yoga groups but have heard much of it in Protestant evangelical circles:
YOU HAVE TO HAVE A HUNGER FOR GOD!
In order to fulfill any spiritual desire, there has to be longing and HUNGER, as in 'hunger and thirst for righteousness.' If you do not have an overwhelming hunger, you will not be able to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. Your hunger has to be so great that you would die if you do not get to God. You simply want nothing else more than God and are willing to give up anything and everything for God. Then you will have God completely, and no other way. There are no halfway measures. This goes for anything. You must hunger for a thing in order to get it (usually.)
Now I know people will say that it is all a gift - but gifts like these are not given unless you have an overwhelming hunger!
Now this hunger got stronger as I got older possibly because after having experienced life, one sees that all the things one experimented with (mostly relationships with men, family, career) did not bring happiness and peace. You knew you had to do something about that, and you knew that God was the only way you could find happiness and peace, and so, you embarked on this with all your heart, soul and mind. You cannot pursue God in halfway measures. That is called luke warmness. My hunger was too great to be lukewarm. I was too dam miserable without God! In fact, I was in the pit on and off, wishing I was dead much of the time. True depression! I was so depressed that at the age of 33 I had surgery on my face to remove the look of depression! This was in the year 1981 - the very advent of seeing God face to face. (Ironically my surgeons name was Manucher Soheigh - Angel Face So High!)
WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM GOD WHEN YOU WERE DOING THIS, FOR YOU TOLD US BEFORE THAT YOU DID NOT THINK OF SEEING GOD FACE TO FACE AT THAT TIME IN THE WAY THAT IT HAPPENED?
I had no particular expectations except to come closer to God, but had no idea what form that might take.
I WOULD BE ALSO INTERESTED TO HEAR FROM YOU ABOUT YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS RELIGION EARLIER IN LIFE. HAVE YOU ALWAYS LOVED GOD,
Since the time of entering Catechism at the age of six, I always loved God. Prior to that I did not have any concept of God. That is to say, no image or understanding. And I did love God strongly and I listened to the nuns intently and followed what they proposed to the letter.
My brother and sister were three and five years older than myself, respectively. They did not pay attention to the nuns nor follow their propositions. For instance, the nuns said to sacrifice candy. We went to the candy store as we always did - every day. The corner little store. And I recall vividly exclaiming to my sister that the nun told us to sacrifice and she looked at me like I was insane. She bought the candy as usual and I must admit, I ate it also. But I was only six years old, she was eleven.
The other thing was the nun told us to take blame for things we did not do. So when my brother broke the railing on the stairs, I told Mom I had done it. I followed the nuns to the dotted i's.
Then again, the nuns told us if someone used bad language, do not answer that person. A boy did so and I said not a word to him. He kept repeating and repeating something to me, but I kept silent as if he was not there, much to his frustration. When I knew and understood a thing I believed in, I followed it wholeheartedly. And I believe that made me different from my peers. For some reason they heard the same words I heard, but did not act upon them.
On the day of our 'First Holy Confession' Mom said come straight home from church after rehearsal and do not play in the park. My brother disobeyed and I begged and begged him to go home, so we could prepare to go to the confession. He delayed by at least an hour or more, and by the time we got home, Mom said it was too late, screamed at us and said we would not make it. I sat in the back yard crying bitterly. But my Dad came, and took me by the hand to church, and we made it ok. What a relief for me!
I can recall vividly having a living, breathing relationship with God. When I prayed I knew God heard me. When I asked for things, I was answered. Even when I was sick and asked to get well, one time, I got well that very day.
OR DID SOME EVENTS IN YOUR LIFE LEAD TO THAT? HAVE YOU ALWAYS BELIEVED IN GOD AS A MOTHER, AND IF NOT, HOW DID THAT COME TO PASS?
I always called God 'Father' as this was how we were taught, and when I realized it was superimposed upon us by Patriarchy, I forced myself to view God as Mother. This I did sporadically for the last few years, but it became final when I started this church on the internet. I forced my image of God to be Mother, and practiced it, until it became solid in my thoughts. It does take some effort.
AND ONE LAST THING: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT PRAYING FOR SOMEONE LIKE YOU WHO IS CLOSER TO GOD THAN THE PERSON WHO WANTS TO PRAY FOR YOU? IS THIS A GOOD THING, EXPRESSING SUPPORT AND LOVE, OR IS IT TOTALLY UNNECESSARY? IN WHICH WAY COULD SOMEONE LIKE ME PRAY FOR YOU? FOR I FEEL THAT SOMEHOW THERE SHOULD BE A SPIRITUAL CONNECTION IN ORDER TO FULLY BENEFIT FROM THE "THINGS" GOD HAS GIVEN YOU.
Pray to me as you would to a saint. In yoga it is called Guru. This is what Jesus was teaching. Understand that I am fully One, totally One, with God. Do not see me as flesh, but as Spirit. (Now of course, we are all human and divine. That goes without saying. But I have gone all the way to God and have become realized, enlightened, and a comprehensor. That is no small thing!)
The way that you become One with God is through your guru. Now of course you can pray directly to God. That goes without saying. But both Jesus and the yogis teach the importance of the guru. Since the guru is on earth, it is a powerful link, a station on earth for God. Now you have a choice. Not everyone does. You are one of the lucky persons who found A LIVING GURU WHO CAN LINK YOU TO GOD OR IN YOUR CASE, YOU ARE ALREADY LINKED BUT WANT TO GO FARTHER, IS TO ENLIGHTENMENT. If no such a one exists in your life, you have to pray to the dead ones. But if you have found a living one, that is a great grace. It is a great act of humility to pray to a living guru, and God likes humility! By acknowledging that this person knows or has more of God realization and power than you do - you have humbled yourself. And by this act, you also love the guru. This faith and humility and love opens your heart to the guru, and you become One. When you become One then graces automatically go from the guru to you. This is what you want. You want to be One to receive those graces. In time, you will receive all that you can from the guru and then you may move on.
Now as far as praying FOR me, that is not necessary. All you have to do is receive from me. In a sense, you will be helping me by receiving from me, because you increase our church. I receive more grace from God because you got grace from me. We increase the kingdom of God that way many times over. In other words, who is me? I am this light, and now you are this light. (In a special way, a special place and light.) We of our church, with me as the chief, become one body, One Spirit. Of course you can look at this many ways and express it many ways. Some people will hate what I am saying because they can only see Jesus as head, or some other great Personage. But I am telling you we have a church. I am the chief of this particular church. This in no way puts down Our Lord or Mary or any other great Personage. It is simply our church that God gave us here on earth. So no need to pray for me, just receive, and I will be happy! What could you say, anyway? If you prayed for me it would bring you closer to me, but praying to me does the same thing. You are helping me, nevertheless, by donating and you give me great consolation with your incredible posts. So that is enough.
MUCH LOVE AND ADMIRATION
Much love and gratitude to you dear Son!
Spiritual Mother, Rasa