“The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.” Michelangelo
I’ve been playing with this metaphor for personal-spiritual transformation for a couple of weeks now. It seems that Michelangelo’s process of sculpting the figure of David, is a powerful metaphor for our own development and unfolding. What is key to me is the idea that as we each chip-away, heal, transform, or simply let go of all that is not who we are in spirit, our core authentic Self will be unveiled. Our Spiritual Self, like David within the block, is already complete and our task is to allow it to show forth.
As we chip-away to unveil this Self, we must likewise chip-away our own divisive, judgmental beliefs and perceptions of everyone else. It’s all the same. The result is that we realize the Spiritual Self that we are, one and all. That Self is complete and secure. Nothing can be added nor taken away, for it is God who created us eternal and unchangeable.
There are many means for chipping-away the meaningless matter that not only hides but imprisons what God created perfect and holy. Tools from the field of psychotherapy and/or spiritual study may all come into play. It’s a rich time for this work as we are supported by books, study groups, online lectures, classes, and more.
This meaningless matter is a result of our false, unloving, thoughts. It’s time to be done with such child’s play. These are the thoughts we’ve “made up”. They are not a part of eternity and are not a part of spiritual life. Such thoughts lack meaning, are non-essential, and have produced a world without meaning. This is a world of fear, sin (error), sickness, and is one lacking in love. I’m describing here the world as we’ve known it. “God did not create a meaningless world” (“A Course in Miracles”, Lesson 14), and as such, we will never be content until we behold ourselves, each other, and the world in divine thought.
The world God created consistently displays divine love which is without error in any form. Love is the nature of God. We do not experience a loving world. Love as we know it, is changeable and completely unreliable and in that, we may routinely feel both safety and fear.
It will be with much celebration that we melt into the fullness of love, peace, freedom, and joy that has been awaiting exactly this moment to be unveiled. As one becomes unveiled, all are unveiled. We will be hand-in-hand, with a shared spiritual vision in which light dispels darkness, replaces, and forgives all error.
It may not be an “exact moment” in which we discover our Selves, for surely, we will experience increased joy, peace, and freedom along the way as we shift in identify away from the personality to the spiritual. For sure, an emerging of what has been largely hidden will take place as the real replaces the temporary, unreal. Just as certain, is our awareness that God never did nor could, create us imperfect, sick, in pain, in fear, in need, or at war with each other. This beauty will surely come further into focus as false qualities and behaviors are recognized as having no value and are willingly tossed aside.
And once tossed aside, we will not look back or pick them up again, for our focus will be on what reflects light and that which is loving and good. We have clear direction in this: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)” This is all we will want to do! We become agents that uplift and support a loving world.
We may think it strange to refer to our lives and all we have valued in this physical existence as superfluous. This self in matter is itself, superfluous and is overall a distraction from focusing on our spiritual life and identity. Nonetheless, we can do much to be of help spiritually, and to advance this shift of consciousness from physical to spiritual, even while we inhabit a body. If we’re still on planet earth, inhabiting a body, that’s our job. Regardless of where we are on the path, in or beyond the body, our function is decided. It is to work to further God’s plan of peace on earth and the emergence of Life as God created it.
Our job is to forgive error that we look upon and no longer invest in the trivial. “A Course in Miracles” tells us, “I will forgive, and this will disappear”. When we no longer value and enshrine in gold what is temporary and cannot enrich our lives, we can draw to ourselves that which is sacred and truly sustains us. We stop relishing error in its every form. We cease telling ourselves it is what we want. What is error? An error is a thought, appearance or behavior that is not an expression of love; something that is not of God. It is fear, and all our beliefs in competition, lack, loss, sickness, pain, grief, conflict, war, fatigue, pollution, disasters, and death. Decidedly, what is error is without lasting merit. These are not a part of us or our world because they are not a part of God who looked upon his creation and stated, “It was good”.
And here is our joy-felt decision and responsibility. With our focused willingness, effort, and devotion, the veil of illusion upheld by error, will drop away and the real world will appear in its place. We boldly accept any hardship and pain in the undoing, in order to birth, like Michelangelo’s David, the sacred, once hidden within. This a holy celebration that we can only achieve when we look beyond our bodies to life in spirit, and soar with each other, hand-in-hand.