“Every living being has a heart. Let us define heart as the center of being, that place from which all feeling arises. All true feeling is love. All love praises God. All love is recognition of the glory of God and all God created. Love is the only pure response of the created for the Creator, the only response of the Creator to the created. Your recognition of what love is will return you to God and your Self.” (ACOL, C:1.1)
These definitions of what love is can take us far. We know that Christ-consciousness arises only in one who is willing to make all relationships right, through forgiveness, and who feels love for all within his/her world. These are bottom-line requirements. And we gain a lot when we realize that very little is asked of us. But how do we bring that very little into view?
We ask through prayer for not only Christ-consciousness, but its precursors, forgiveness of others (and ourselves) and love of others (and ourselves). Jesus contributed the idea of forgiveness to world religions. In the well-acclaimed Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Mircea Eliade, we learn from the index that forgiveness occurs only in the context of Jesus’s teachings. So Jesus originated this important requirement for enlightenment. Many others as well, in contrast, have trumpeted the value of love. But Jesus may have said it best, in that we are to love God, and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We want to be returned to our Self, and our Self is the Self whom we know in Christ-consciousness. Let us decide today that this is what we want, all that we want. There must be a decision on our part to pursue this dimension of being, Christ-consciousness. Then, when we are made ready (and this is a mysterious process), we will find that God Himself answers us with the blessing of enlightenment.