Jesus explains to Mary and Peter: 'We are characters within this gospel story. The reader is a character within the life story. They appear to be a person who is reading this ... right now. Whilst they are lost in the life story they will think this is all they are.
'But if they step out of their story they will discover something amazing -- in reality everything and everyone is an expression of the one Imagination within which the life story is spontaneously arising right now. This is their essential or "spiritual" identity.
Then Mary felt confused about something, so she asked, 'If we step out of the story, does that mean that we're no longer in the story?'
And Jesus answered, 'You are both the Author and a character in the story. Spiritual awareness isn't identifying with either your essential nature or your apparent nature. It is being conscious of both poles of your identity. Awakening isn't escaping from the story into some disembodied existence. It is living within the story of separateness with the knowledge that all is one:
'I've never heard such irrational nonsense; protested Peter. 'How can everything be separate and one at the same time?'
And Jesus replied, 'To experience spiritual awakening, you need to transcend either/or logic by grasping the most important concept in spiritual teaching. And that's polarity.
'A polarity is a duality of opposites that are essentially one. Examine any polarity and you'll discover that's true. Take "up" and "down" for example. Up and down are opposites, yet you can't have "up" without "down" or vice versa. Opposites only exist together.
'Polarity is the fundamental structure of reality. This moment exists because the Author is imagining the story, so our existence is predicated on the fundamental polarity of the Primal Imagination and the story it is imagining.
'Because everything is predicated on polarity, everything is characterized by polarity: good and bad, in and out, yes and no, male and female, day and night, waking and sleeping, life and death... You get the idea? 'So it is no surprise that our identity has a polar nature.
We are both the Author and a particular individual in the story. At one pole of our identity we are the universal Imagination within which everything is arising, so we are one with all. At the other pole of our identity we appear to be a separate character in the story.
'Philosophies that adopt an either/or approach teach that we are either separate or all one. True spiritual teaching is based on an understanding of polarity, so it adopts a both/and approach, teaching that we are both one ... and many:
~ From: The Gospel of the Second Coming ~ by Freke & Gandy pp 83-84
Peter demanded, 'Tell me then, who am I really?'
And the Lord explained, 'We each have two aspects to our identity. In ancient Greek tese aspects are called the daemon and the eidolon.'
Peter immediately wished he hadn't asked.
Then Jesus continued, 'Daemon means "Spirit" or "essence". This is what we essentially are. Eidolon means "image" or "appearance". This is what we appear to be.'
Peter began to shuffle restlessly....
But Jesus went on nonetheless, saying, 'You appear to be an eidolon or image called "Peter", but really we are all the one Spirit, or essence, which is the Primal Imagination, or God.'
Peter got the feeling that whatever it was that Jesus was saying was surely blasphemous, but couldn't work out if it was possible for Jesus to blaspheme.
Jesus continued, 'And what's the difference between the Imagination and the images it imagines? An image can't exist independently of the Imagination, just as a dream can't exist independently of the dreamer. If you look at it one way they are conceptually distinct, but look at it another way and they are essentially one.'
Peter decided the safest bet was to repeat Psalm 23 to himself, because he always found that reassuringly stirring in times of doubt.
Then Jesus declared, 'The problem is that you are so lost in the story of "Peter" that you believe you are separate from God. But in reality you are God.'
Peter couldn't remember what came after "the valley of the shadow of death", so he started again from the beginning.
'Don't you get it, Peter?' interjected Mary. 'You are both Author and character. Daemon and eidolon. Spirit and body. Subject and object. Essence and appearance. Imagination and image. God and man.'
Peter caught the last two words, which were the only words that made sense to him. So he conceded, with that slow, patronizing drawl adopted by theologians when they're losing an argument, 'I agree that Jesus is both God and man. But not the rest of us. We're just humble folk who look to God for salvation.'
'Utter nonsense!' contradicted Jesus impatiently. 'The only difference between me and you is that I represent someone who has stepped out of the story and discovered my deeper identity as God. But in reality we all share the same essential or "spiritual" nature. We are all God. There is only God.'
'So I appear to be Mary, but in reality I am God!' exclaimed God as Mary.
'Well, I'm not God, I can tell you that!' mumbled God as Peter.
~ From: The Gospel of the Second Coming ~ by Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy pp 86-87
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