Vector8 Journals

Monday, January 24, 2005

Why You Must Be Born Again - A Metaphor

In the Gospel of John in the Bible, it is written that Jesus is approached by a Rabbi called Nicodemus who wants to discuss the miracles he's witnessed Jesus perform. Jesus says to him:

"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3: 3)
What does Jesus mean by being "born again?" And why is it necessary?

As babies, each of us is living as the Spirit, the Presence that is without doctrines and beliefs. Babies are one with the Presence like a drop of water is one with the vast ocean. As babies grow up they are indoctrinated into the world of appearances and, before you know it, the child has absorbed worldly beliefs about his identity. The child believes he has a separate self from the one Self/Spirit/Presence. To be the unlimited Spirit, one needs to reawaken to the Spirit or be "born again." Being born again has nothing to do with religion. It is about awakening to the truth of the one loving Presence that is within and without. When you are conscious of the Presence, It is animated so it can work through you. You then realise that this Presence/Spirit is your real unlimited Self.

In the discussion, Nicodemus is confused about what being born again means.

"Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6: That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3: 4-6)
Who can blame Nicodemus for his lack of understanding? As humans, we experience birth and death, which is a fleshly existence. You can continue to experience birth and death for many lives and never be aware of the Presence. Just because you're no longer in a human form, you have passed away from the human experience, doesn't mean you're "born again." You could have just replaced one dream realm for another. To be "born of the Spirit" is being born again. It is the true purpose of life: to live in reality as the Spirit. When one is born again, it matters not where you find yourself as you will always be living as the Presence.

I had an experience two days ago which I believe is a metaphor for being born again.

A friend emailed me to say he was going to be at a particular bookshop and maybe he'll see me later. I emailed him that I might see him. It was obviously a tentative arrangement. That evening, I went to the bookshop and looked out for him but he wasn't there. I thought to myself, what's the point of getting attached to one friend when there are always so many new friends to meet. I decided to relax in the coffee area. A young woman came in with a baby. I listened to the baby gurgling away. He reminded me of the jazz singer, Louis Armstrong. I chuckled to myself. The baby was doing his own rendition of What A Wonderful World.

Soon the baby started crying. His mother tried to pacify him by breast-feeding, dandling, putting him on the floor, giving him a dummy, but nothing seemed to work. He just got more upset. All eyes were on the mother. The baby's cries attracted a member of staff, possibly the manager. She asked the mother what was wrong. The mother said she didn't know what was wrong but she assured the manager she was leaving shortly. Did she want hot water for the baby? The mother said no. Did she want her to carry the baby? The mother said no.

I knew there is only one Presence of Love that wants the best for everyone concerned. I knew the baby was perfectly OK. As soon as the manager had left I went over to the mother. I asked if I could help and offered to carry the baby. She agreed. I carried him and he stopped crying. He touched my face and lips. He was such a cute baby. I kissed his damp red cheeks and commended him on his lovely voice. I pointed out to him various sections of the bookshop. I took him to a woman sitting close by and she played with him. She fanned his face which he seemed to enjoy. When she left, I took the baby to another customer who played with him. Then I sat down next to his mother with the baby on my lap. He played with his mother's mobile phone and promptly put it in his mouth. He grabbed the menu and put that in his mouth. He was completely at peace.

His mother commended me on being so good with him, and asked if I had kids. I said I didn't have any. She said I had a magic touch. I felt it was time to return the baby to his mother. It was good timing because his father arrived. They'd been waiting for him. They left shortly after. While I never did catch up with my friend that evening, I made some lovely new friends.

Now, the above experience is a metaphor for the Spirit being awakened. You see the Spirit is ever present. If you're not aware of it, it doesn't change the truth that it is present, though ignorance might make the Spirit appear to be dormant. Man will go through life in ignorance: being happy one minute and sad the next, as is the nature of duality. When someone is aware of the Presence anyone who is receptive benefits.

If I wasn't aware of the Presence I probably would have been disturbed by the baby's cries or I might have left.

I was aware that the Presence is all Good and wants the best for everyone. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't my intention to bring peace to the bookshop as I already knew peace is. But for some reason I was inspired to help. I also knew that for the Presence to be of any benefit, one has to be receptive. While the baby was probably receptive, his mother was not. She was too busy trying the old tried and tested ways of baby care i.e. feeding, checking if he needed changing, cuddling or whatever. The moment she was open to other ideas I was able to help. I know nothing about babies, but I know the Presence of Love is all there is. All I needed to do was be the Presence of Love. In other words, I let the Silence/Presence work through me and the baby was calm which helped his mother, the rest of the customers and the shop staff.

When one is with an individual who is living as the Presence, you feel energised or you see the individual as magnetic, charismatic, peaceful, loving, magical or there is an aura about her. This means you're receptive to the Presence. Receptivity might lead you to be as curious as Nicodemus: you want to know what makes one individual have such presence. Since there is only the One Presence, curiousity awakens you to the Presence who will then teach you in a way that is right for you.

The Spirit is ever present. Just because an individual is aware of the Presence doesn't mean she is always able to bring peace and love to all. She may have an impact on someone living in America while her family will not reap any benefits. It's all about whether people are receptive or not, otherwise the world would be transformed in an instant. The Presence will never force Its ways on you.

While an individual's realisation of the Presence might benefit those who are receptive, in order to enjoy lasting benefits of bliss, love and to "see the kingdom of God" you must be born again. It is your desire to know the Presence that awakens the Presence. No one can awaken the Presence for you but you.

When Spirit is in form, one is "born again."
When Spirit is in form one is aware of the Presence.
When Spirit is in form one is the Presence.

Let me reiterate that to be born again has nothing to do with religion; it is a realisation of one's identity as the Presence of Love. You could choose to realise the Presence by following a religion or not.

One day you find yourself at a bookshop and you hear a baby crying. You are inspired to pacify the baby. The baby's mother believes you have the magic touch. Of course you have the "magic touch," you are the Presence.

I am Spirit,