How can you see an angel in heaven if you don't know how to look at an apple blossom?
"Take no thought for your life, for what ye shall eat, or what ye shall wear, or for your body; for who among you by worrying can add one inch to your stature?"
Jesus spoke the complete Gospel in these simple words from the Sermon on the Mount. The Greek imperative "mei merimnate" means "don't worry." The King James version of the Bible eloquently translates this as "take no thought." Not to worry is freedom from thought.
"Don't worry" is precisely what Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in the last chapter of the Bhagavad Gita: "ma suchoh" in Sanskrit. "Abandon all religious duties and simply surrender to Me. My grace will deliver you from all your sins. Don't worry."
At any moment of our life, we have two choices: this now, or a cloud of worries. We shroud the reality of this now in thoughts, a gray mental cloud containing the future and the past, regret and anxiety. Yes, our future and our past only exist as thoughts in our mind.
When we see What Is through this drab haze of worry, we call it the world. But if we could see What Is without the superimposition of thought, we would call it paradise. The Kingdom of Heaven is always right here. When we surrender to this presence, we are nourished by the Tree of Life. But instead, we choose, like Eve and Adam, to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Then we fall into exile in the world of mind, endlessly judging what is good and evil, better or worse. "Oh I'm tired of this. I'd rather have that!" This constant thinking throws us out of the garden of Presence, into the realm of time.
Many spiritual seekers express this exile as a division between "the material plane" and "higher planes of consciousness." We are fascinated by angels, celestial visions, and ascended masters who channel wisdom from other worlds. We'd rather be up there, with them. But the truth is, angels dwell right here. Angels and devas are not above the earth, but deep inside it. Heavenly lokas and Buddha fields manifest on the same spectrum of energy as our own bodies. They just vibrate at a different frequency, a little less dense than we. Angels, archangels, powers, princedoms and dominions, all dwell in an apple bud.
Have you truly looked at a flower? Have you noticed the subtler textures within it, the refined energy around its edges? Physical matter is permeated by interior worlds. They are seen in more relaxed layers of consciousness, just as cells and molecules are seen in deeper layers of magnification. How can you see an angel in heaven if you don't know how to look into an apple blossom?
There is no higher world than this one. There is no heaven beyond the tip of your nose. The whole breadth of the cosmos is between your eyebrows. The kingdom of the Gods is hidden in the dust on your sneaker. Then why do you suffer? Simply because of your restless desire to be elsewhere.
The Greek word for "judgment" is "crisis." Jesus the Liberator teaches us to live the crisis of Judgment Day right now. The crisis is a starkly simple decision. Do we choose to be here, or to be elsewhere? Do we live in the present moment, or in the gray haze of the past and future?
If you experience a sense of crisis, rejoice! A crisis is an opportunity to choose liberation, to choose What Is and awaken to Now.
Faith is the constant choice to be here now. Don't confuse Faith with belief, for belief is only a defense against worry about the past and future. Belief is made out of thoughts and words. Faith is made out of silence.
Faith is opening to the grace of Presence, allowing Presence to have its way with us, unrestricted by memory and expectation. The people around us need our Presence, not our past and our future. Acting in Presence, we create a new heaven and a new earth.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also said, "Take no thought for tomorrow." Eternal life doesn't begin when we die. It could not be eternal if it hasn't started yet! Eternal life begins for us whenever we choose to let it happen.
So relax, drop your worries, look into a bud. Make it blossom with your looking.