December 21, 1994 Wednesday Night, Aaron's Christmas Stories

Aaron: Good evening and welcome to each of you. I am Aaron. I want to start a bit differently tonight and then go into our Christmas stories. As you know, my dear friend Barbara has lost her father this week. Perhaps on a soul level of connection there is no other being outside of her husband and children with whom she has such a direct closeness. There was a very close reflection one onto the other of the deepest and most cherished values and beliefs. This one has seen this father as father in prior lifetimes; has understood the karmic relationship between them and what they each had to teach the other. There is a considerable grief. Her energy field is a bit like Swiss cheese.

I would ask two things of you: That we might spend a few minutes not quite in silence, but with me offering some rather specific prayer for this one who has departed his body, and also that you will sit first for a minute or two simply sending energy and love to Barbara.

(We do this.)

This one is in too deep a trance state to speak for herself, but she is experiencing herself enveloped in a living cloak of light which helps patch the holes in the energy field.

Now I ask you to offer these thoughts to Barbara's father, to Jay. First I would like you to have some sense of who he is. I ask for a copy of the book of poetry Jay has written. I would like one stanza read to give you a feeling for this man. I pause here.

(A stanza from Jay's book is read.)

To live for others,
to love and share
Helps banish loneliness and despair.
To find this goal is ever so rare.
It is a dream for which we dare.

May we have two or three minutes of silence relating to this being in whatever way you may, offering your loving energy, and especially directing him; guiding him to move to this light, reminding him that he is safe. I pause here.

I thank you. Your loving thoughts and energy do offer support and guidance.

You think of death as a cutting off point. In fact, it is simply part of a continuum. We speak of numerous "betweens." I offer here a very simply capsule of several of these between states. There is one phase between birth and death that you call life. Life is one form of illusion. There is another between death of the physical body and the first dawning of the consciousness in the next phase. It may be a flash, like that (snapping fingers), or it may be of several days' or weeks' duration. It is a kind of sleep, just as your incarnation is a kind of sleep.

Consider the small between within the incarnate life, from the moment you fall asleep in your bed to the moment you wake up. Within that small between, there is increasing level of awareness as you become more lucid in your dreams, more aware that you are dreaming when you dreaming. Within the larger between of birth to death, there is also increasing awareness as you become more lucid of the illusion in which you dwell. It's all part of the process. Those of you who meditate and who are increasing your awareness within this incarnative illusion will spend far less time unconscious when you leave your body. Those who have learned the process of lucid dreaming will be aware in that time after leaving the body of when you are in "dreaming;" your practice with the dream state will help you move to a clearer, purer awareness.

Here I want to put death aside and to use this discussion as transition to move into the Christmas stories. In that moment of pure awareness, you are awake. In that moment, you are fully awake and enlightened.

You have heard me speak of the four bodies. Three of these bodies exist on three levels. Each level has its own "reality."

The highest level of all four of the bodies, let us call it the Buddha or Christ level, is the level of the pure and perfect light body. For the spirit body, this is the pure spirit which some call soul. Spirit body exists only on this highest level. It is enlightenment itself.

The highest level of the mental body is this level of light body, expressed as pure awareness. This is the highest level of your being, where personal and universal are joined. The mental body also expresses on the levels of partial awareness and non-awareness.

The best illustration I can offer uses the metaphor of the deep sea diver. Here is the Sun in the sky; a blazing orb; brilliant. (Gesturing with hands.) When a deep sea diver goes under water and looks up, there is a shimmering light far above it, but the diver can have no real notion of the Sun. Beings who are not yet awake, not yet spiritually conscious in the physical body, are like deep sea divers, aware that there is some kind of light, but with no notion of what that light is and without relationship to it.

Many of you are above the water, dwelling in some degree of cloud or clear sky and aware that there is a Sun. Still, it is clouded by the atmosphere which shields you from that brightness. It may be a clear day in which there is less shielding. It may be a cloudy day in which there's more shielding. If there were no atmosphere, you feel you could not stand in the Sunlight, that the brilliance and heat would destroy the physical body. The atmosphere clouds the direct sun. It offers distortion and the illusion of protection.

The Christ or Buddha awareness dwells directly in that middle of the Sun. It dwells in pure mind; pure spirit; pure awareness. When the Christ or Buddha-and when I use those terms, I do not mean only those two historical beings, but any being that has so clarified its energy that there is no heavy atmosphere around it; no shadow-when the being has reached that level of clarity, it knows not only itself as that perfection, but everything as that perfection. Therefore, while it may relate to the physical reality of that which lies before it, it has no question in its mind which is the mirage and which is the reality. Within any human it sees the divine nature.

We recall the metaphor of the wrinkled sheet of paper that lies within the perfect sheet. That fully awakened being does not focus on the wrinkles. It knows the reality.It touches the distortion with kindness but with no fixation on it as reality. Its compassion leads it to open its heart to those who are caught in the illusion, and therefore to take care of the illusion. It offers support for the healing that the hurt one seeks, but it does so while never getting caught in the distortion, never believing it to be ultimate reality.. There was never anything to be healed. This is like a parent comforting a child who has had a nightmare of a monster. The parent knows the monster does not exist but also that the child is frightened. It attends on both levels, comforting the child who is afraid and also making it clear that there is no monster.

Beings like yourselves, in different degrees of realization from newly awake to possessing some degree of realization, focus on both. There is still some belief in the monster. The unaware human level focuses on the wrinkles and has no notion of the divinity within each manifestation. This one gets out a gun to shoot the monster. This is a common human distortion which leads to an attack of that which is wrinkled.

The stories I want to tell you tonight are about this one who was known in this final incarnation as Jesus, and the way that he related to each being as if it were divine.

Again, I feel it necessary to say here that which I say each year. The being that I was was a poor shepherd and unlearned. I considered myself a disciple of Jesus, but certainly was not a major one of his disciples. When he came near to where I was, I would leave my flocks in the care of friends or relatives and go and spend a few days with him. I found this a deep blessing. The memories I offer you are not those of Aaron, who sees from a very different perspective, but simply are memories of that shepherd who I was.

One day I joined Jesus and others as they were traveling. There were some light packs, carried by a beast of burden. In one there were simple but beautiful candlesticks. This great one did observe some of the forms of the religion in which he was born, which was Judaism. He did commemorate the Sabbath. There was one who joined us and walked with us for two days, keeping to the rear. He was clad in ragged robes, unkempt of appearance, and definitely not willing to meet another's eye. On a Friday afternoon, it was noticed that he had disappeared.

At sunset, the time came to light the Sabbath candles and say prayers. The one known as Jesus did not seek out a temple to say his prayers. He felt the Earth to be his temple and was content to offer his prayers wherever the sunset found him. When the pack was opened to get the candlesticks and other ceremonial paraphernalia, the candlesticks were missing. Others were upset and angry and pointed a finger of blame. "That wretched one must have taken them. Let us go after him." "No," replied Jesus. He took the candles, and I remember he made a small hole in the ground and said, "The earth will serve for a candlestick." He simply inserted the candles into a hole. The prayers were said; the Sabbath observed.

Within the week, new candlesticks were obtained, given by someone and were again in the pack. Less than a week later, this furtive one joined us again. Men were angry. There was no proof that this one had stolen the candlesticks, but they felt certain it must have been he. They wanted to accuse him, even though Jesus had taught forgiveness.

This is not a simple story of forgiveness. It goes deeper. To forgive another, there must be something to forgive. At the lowest level as one not yet awake, one blames others. This one may not yet know how to forgive. One in the middle level of their being may see the divine in another, but also see the human thief. One at this level forgives. One at the highest level asks, "was anything stolen?" He knows the soul is not evil; the soul is not thief. In his compassion he may reach to the human level and offer forgiveness to the human if that human seeks forgiveness, but he also knows that forgiveness is unnecessary. With the great compassion, there has been no wrong done. There is nothing to forgive.

The somewhat awakened and unawakened of that group of men gathered and asked, "What should we do? Shall we confront him?" Jesus knew our thinking. He walked up to us and simply said, "Let him be. Offer him your love. Let him be." He did not see a thief. This was not what I'd consider enabling behavior on Jesus' part. Rather, he related to the highest in this man. By relating to that highest, he allowed this man to elevate himself to that highest of himself. Jesus welcomed him back, said, "We're glad you were on time to join us again this week for the Sabbath. Let us walk together."

I was asleep, but I am told this man went to the packs in the middle of the night, perhaps thinking, "I got away with it once, I could do it again." He opened the sack that held these ritual objects. He took out the candlesticks, at which the one who was known as Jesus, arose, walked up to him and said, "You need not do this furtively in the dark. If you have need, take what you need. Is there anything else you need from this pack? Anything we can give you?"

Never had this one experienced another who trusted him, who invited him to be the best that he could be instead of the worst. Again, I repeat what I was told, because I was asleep, but I was told that he began to cry, handed the candlesticks back and said, "I have need of nothing but your forgiveness." And the one who was Jesus said, "There is nothing to forgive," and embraced him.

I did not hear the story immediately upon waking. I woke and some of the men were preparing breakfast, including this lone newcomer who would not meet my eye in the past. There was a remarkable change in him. He looked at me and smiled! He met my direct gaze. He had begun to grow into his divine self, to manifest his divinity. This one became a follower of Jesus. He left his thievery behind. He had no more need for such behavior, no fear that led him to take, because he had begun to trust the deepest truth of who he was.

To expand this idea, I want to tell a folk tale not specifically about Jesus: There were two men who were each landholders with considerable power over their domains. Their land holdings were side by side. One was peaceful and loving. The other was more fearful and negative. The negative one invaded the lands of the more peaceful one. The more peaceful one came to the King and asked for protection. The King asked both of these men to come before him. Because the King's army was strong, the negative one was inclined to do as he was asked. The King said, "Why do you invade your neighbor's lands?" The negative one said, "The people in my country are mean and petty. My neighbor here speaks of his subjects as being loving and generous. I want such subjects for my own, so I wish to take over his territory.

The King was very wise. He said to the loving one, "I want you to go into your neighbor's country, to look until you find an evil man, and bring him to me. Your neighbor says his people are mean so the search should not be difficult." And he said to the negative one, "You say your neighbor has such good men in his kingdom. I want you to go into his lands and look until you find a good man, and bring him to me. It should be simple to find such a one" He asked them to be back in a few days and each went on his way.

In the suggested time, they came back for their audience with the King. To the negative one he said, "Where is the good man?" The negative one said, "I looked throughout his lands, but he's a liar, no where could I find a good man. They all steal. They all lie. All I saw was evil, just as in my own lands. He is a liar." To the generous and positive one he said, "Have you found an evil man in your neighbor's lands?" The positive one shook his head. "I looked and looked. I did see greed and fear. I did see hatred. But in each case where there was action that was harmful to others, I looked deeply into that one's heart I found men who were confused, and filled with fear and despair, but none who were evil. I found none who were not good in the depths of the heart." "Ah," said the King, "And are you each content to go back to your own lands?" The negative one agreed. There was no need to look in his neighbor's lands. Perhaps the good that he sought was not to be found elsewhere, but to be nurtured within.

I first heard this story at the feet of the one known as Jesus. He taught that anger and greed came from a place of fear which was to be met with compassion and loving kindness. He taught that the root of forgiveness and compassion was understanding. He did not say, "Forgive with a sense of obligation." as in "I should forgive," But, "Forgive out of the natural depths of your own understanding." Forgiveness to him, then, was not a blind way of action based on a blind faith, but a natural conclusion.

This one looked deeply into his own and others' nature. He taught us to do the same, less from verbalization than from his example. In short, he woke us up to his way of seeing. We weren't very able to see the way a fully enlightened Buddha or Christ sees, to see clearly the divinity and not fixate on the wrinkles. But he did teach us to see the divinity.

I find is important because often what is stressed in his teachings is the forgiveness and the love of one another, but not the basis for that love and forgiveness. He is therefore sometimes portrayed as naive as to the evils of the world. He was not naive in any way, only he saw deeper, he saw past the fear, the greed, the anger, and into the divine perfection of each one's heart. He encouraged each one to live that divine perfection in itself, and to begin to see that in another.

Much of his healing; the miracles that he is quoted as having performed, come from seeing the already perfect. If there is a leper, whose skin is broken by his disease, that is only the surface appearance. If one believes that surface appearance, one goes to work to fix the brokenness. Jesus knew it to be merely appearance. He saw the already perfect/always perfect light body of that leper. The strength of his perception was such that he awoke that awareness in the one with the disease. "This is not how I am. That is how I am." And, just as the thief that did not any longer need to enact his thievery, greed and fear, so the leper no longer needed to carry this distorted outward manifestation. Jesus did not heal him. Jesus offered him the choice. "You can dwell in the illusion that the body is distorted and continue to manifest that illusion, or you can come with me into the ever-perfect."

I did not understand this in those days. I told you that I did not often see him offer such miracles. His preference was to keep it as simple as possible. When it was necessary, he was not beyond offering it, but it was not a miracle. It had a very logical, carried an almost scientific basis? Where does one choose to focus one's attention, on the wrinkled shadow of the leper's body, or on the always-perfect? He gave humans an option; awoke them to the fact that this choice was theirs', and then offered the energy to help lead them into their more skillful choice. Yes, that he had that energy to offer is, in its way, the true miracle-that such a being was incarnate on the Earth and willing to offer its energy and soul.

One night, when I was not with him, but off with my sheep in the hills, I made the rounds of them before retiring and discovered that a ewe, close to time of giving birth, had disappeared. Leaving the rest of my flock in the care of my friends and my son, I went off into the hills searching for the ewe. There was a moon and enough light to see, but also heavy, dark clouds that came and went. As I got away from the fire and further up into the hills, the wind blew cold. We had come over a pass earlier in the evening, and I realized that I must have lost her then. She must have stopped, feeling the beginnings of her birth pangs, and I had not noticed it. I felt responsible for her and concerned about her and what suffering she might be undergoing alone there.

As I neared the top of the pass, I heard her voice, a sheep's soft, bleating cry. She was indeed giving birth, but it was a troublesome birth, the lamb twisted the wrong way. She could not help herself; her straining only jammed the infant tighter. But it was an easy matter for me to reach my arm in and straighten it out. And so I twisted this almost-born creature, and allowed him to emerge. As I did so, the clouds that had been close by and occasionally passing the moon moved in front of them. Clouds and more clouds, darkened the night. So there I was with an exhausted ewe, a newborn lamb and simply the light robe I had wrapped around me to walk. No fire. No protection. The clouds were low, heavy fog covering the mountainside. All about me the landscape was cliffs and ravines. It was not safe to walk where one could not see.

I sat down holding the sheep, its body warmth helping me to find warmth. The lamb I wrapped in my cloak, holding it close to its mother and offering them both some protection. It was not a big enough cloak to shelter the three of us, not really enough shelter even for one, sitting inactive as I was. My teeth began to tremble; to chatter. I do not recall consciously praying for help. I recall only that my concern was truly not for myself, but for this ewe and lamb. Perhaps I did ask for help, that they might not suffer.

I was dozing and holding these animals close to me, shivering violently when I was suddenly shaken out of my reverie by a strong light. I looked up and there was Jesus! I could not explain this sight at that time. I knew he was not physically present, but that he was there. The light that came from his body was so brilliant that it pierced the fog. The sheep was able to walk. I picked up the lamb and simply began to follow this lighted figure ahead of me. One step at a time, we proceeded over the rocky pass and down the mountain. The fog stopped at a certain level and below me I saw the valley perhaps a mile away. Fires were lit. I turned to thank him, but he was gone. And so, we descended safely to the fire.

How did this happen? The shepherd who I was did not even try to figure it out. He simply gave thanks. This is your example of a miracle. How did it happen? You might say that the energy body of this Being had come from His manifest self, had come forth hearing one in trouble, and physically led him out. That's one way of looking at it, but its a bit of a distortion. The energy of this Being of Jesus, and of all of these great masters, is always available to you. Each of you has one or more great master who serves as primary teacher to you, and in whose energy field your own energy vibrates to a much higher pitch, one to whom you resonate. When you send out a prayer, it invites in the energy of that master with whom you mostly deeply resonate. It does not matter if that Being is alive or dead. Jesus is just as available to you today as he was to me that night.

From my present perspective, it is verified that he did not physically come there, although I have no doubt that he would have been capable of that. Rather, his thought energy awakened my own highest level of being; the always-perfect within me. We all are divine. We can manifest that divinity in remarkable ways. There are stories of people who perform seemingly impossible deeds. How? Not on your own. You, the finite being, do not have that power. But when you are connected with the divine, you are infinite. What this Master does is connect you to the highest level of your own being and allow you to begin to manifest what you need from that level.

I cannot say he did not save me, but had I been unwilling to move into that divine level of my being, he could not have saved me. The fact that I sat there, with my primary concern being these other creatures and not myself, opened me to the highest level of my own being, the divinity of my being, which is truly unselfish; selfless. Only at that level of being could I have perceived him. Just as with the story of the thief, he invited me to move into the deepest level of myself so that I could see his light and follow it to safety.

To open to this deepest level of oneself, one does not need to be free of greed, anger or other heavy emotion. One needs not to be fixated on that heavy emotion. Certainly I felt fear that night. It's not that there was no fear, but that I did not have to act on my fear. To act on it would have been to kill the sheep, take its skin and wrap it around me. Would we both then have perished? One need not be motivated by fear. When one finds deep compassion for oneself and one's situation and one's heart is open, one comes into touch with the highest level of oneself, which resonates with the highest level of the master.

I want to say here that it would not have been wrong to have killed this sheep and taken its skin. It would have been wrong to do that in fear. It might have been that the wisdom of my own highest self and the teachings of Jesus would have said to kill this sheep and offer thanks that it gives it life to preserve my life. Had there been a terrible storm, I know he could have stopped the storm, but perhaps would not have done so. Perhaps then the lesson offered would have been to act with love to preserve myself and the baby. So the lesson does not center on the taking of the life of the sheep, or not taking it. It is about acting in love rather than fear.

Barbara asked me this fall, will I run out of stories to tell? I think not. You have been sitting a long time. Let us pause, and after your break, I will continue to tell stories or answer your questions as you wish. That is all.


C: Aaron told us one of the stories was about a man who stole candlesticks from Jesus. The man then came back later and was trying to steal more candlesticks, and Jesus said, "You don't need to steal. You may have whatever you need", which transformed the thief. He had never been seen that lovingly and acceptingly. I understand that perfectly. Then Aaron said, "Jesus, said that at the highest level of being, there was never anything taken. Could Aaron speak to that?

Aaron: I am Aaron. I hear your question, C. Let me put it in these terms. We have wrinkled paper. Here is somebody who is pressing the wrinkle, working desperately to make the paper perfect. There is no need to say, "Stop pressing the wrinkle. The value of the wrinkle myth is that it leads us to the ultimate space. How long does one press the paper before one realizes it is already perfect? If this one wants to keep pressing the wrinkle, let him do so. Eventually, he will see the emptiness of that work. Do you understand the metaphor? We stay in relative reality until we understand that relative rests in ultimate and we have always been also in the ultimate. We cannot be out of the ultimate although our eyes may be closed to that truth.

On the relative level, the candlesticks were owned. On the ultimate level, everything we need is always already present. Our thought of need is fear-based illusion of the relative plane. Jesus said to this man, "You do not need to steal. Ask for what you need. It's already given." How could he be a thief and steal candlesticks when they were already his? But on the relative level he was stealing. Intention is important here. Because of his fear he had intention to take for the self, thus falling into dual mind. From this place of dual mind he could not recognize his wealth. Do you understand?

I pause here.

Q: Are you saying it's okay for him to steal?

Aaron: I am Aaron. What is stealing? You cannot steal what is already yours. Since there is no separation between me and you, what is mine, is yours. Therefore, you cannot steal what is mine. This does not mean that one is not responsible. If you take more than your share, perhaps of the food we have, day after day, so that I starve, you are responsible for my death. If the man stole the candlesticks and had also stolen the candles, had there been no way for them to see in the darkness because he stole what they needed to light the darkness, had someone then stumbled and hurt themselves badly in the darkness, the thief is responsible. But, he's still not a thief in ultimate reality. There is no such thing as a thief, except in the dual mind that differentiates me and you. That is all.

C: It seems that in the same way the man who stumbled and fell in the darkness wasn't hurt.

Aaron: I am Aaron. Yes, but the physical body has struggled with the illusion of being hurt. We must also connect with compassion and to the physical plane. There is a physical reality. We cannot deny that physical reality. We must rest simultaneously in both realities and understand that the higher reality is that one which is veiled for us. Do you understand?

C: I am beginning to, but I'm sure we have a long way to go.

Aaron: Do you understand that when you relate to the highest in another is when you must closely emulate Jesus. When you relate to the highest in another, you must do that from the highest in ourselves. Thus, you invite in the highest level of yourselves and invite in the highest level of the other. The other may or may not be able to respond to that invitation. Even if the other continues to be a thief and cannot rise to the highest level of himself, you maintain the consciousness that the highest level exists. You keep the door open to that highest level to emerge. If you only focus on the negative, you slam the door on that highest level. Do you understand? That is all.

D: Aaron just told a story, a part of which was that when he was human in the time of Jesus, he was trapped by the weather with a sheep that had just given birth. It was night time, the three of them were trapped by fog and it was very cold. Aaron was trying to keep warm and protect the animals. He said that it would not have been wrong to kill the animal and use it for warmth. That seems like, somehow, the life of a human is more important than another life. Can Aaron talk about that?

Aaron: I am Aaron. I hear your question, D. It is not that one is more valuable, in terms of the way you normally establish value. And yet, certain life finds as its primary purpose the desire to serve others. For instance, a carrot is not here merely to propagate the species of carrots so that carrots may take over the world. A carrot finds much joy, in its own way, in being thanked as it is plucked from the ground and eaten. The carrot isn't destroyed. It takes another form. When you choose to eat an animal, those of you who are not vegetarian, the animal's energy moves into you. It takes on new form. One could then say logically, "Yes, then I should feed myself to a wolf or a tiger, and I would take a new form." But this is not the primary reason you have moved into incarnation. I do not mean that the primary reason of sheep or other small animals might have moved into incarnation is to feed you. It has moved into incarnation to come to some level of self-awareness. One of the ways that it may do that is in experiencing the changes in its energy as it is loved and appreciated and taken into another form. No animal should suffer. That is inexcusable. But it is not wrong to kill an animal for food any more than it is wrong to kill a vegetable or fruit for food.

Q: Why did you feel Jesus would not have stopped a storm?

Aaron: Certainly, one who can appear before me in such a way is also capable of stopping a blizzard. However, one asks the very simple question, "Is it right to interfere with the weather for the good of one ewe? Perhaps the snow will bring needed moisture that will water crops. One could then argue, "But it's only for an hour until he gets out of the hills." The principle is that one interferes as little as possible. Perhaps precisely what this human needed was to move into much deeper appreciation of his flocks and awareness of the depth of his responsibility. What might be learned by needing to kill this animal, to beg its pardon, to offer its deepest gratitude, and as painlessly as possible, to kill it and skin it to protect itself and to protect the animal's baby as well, so that they might both survive the night?

We cannot judge the lessons of another. Thus, if it were necessary and were done with love, it would not have been wrong. But first, every other means must be explored.

We also must learn our responsibility. We are unlimited. We must live that truth.

This reminds me of that old story of one who is drowning. He is on the roof of his house. A boat comes by and he says, "No, go away. God will save me." A log comes by; a helicopter comes. Each time, "God will save me." And he drowns. He approaches God and says, "Why didn't you save me?" God says, "I sent you the log and the boat and the helicopter. Why didn't you save yourself?"

We all saves ourselves on whatever plane. We do this through our own will and through faith; through allowing ourselves to resonate with the highest vibrational frequency possible for us, tuning in to the highest level of loving action and intention, and manifesting that perfection. In this situation, it was not necessary to kill and would not have been useful. But in some situations, it may be.

One is asking, "Would it ever be useful to kill another human in that way?" This is a different situation, because a human already has self-awareness. It would never be skillful to kill another self-aware being without that being's permission. You can get a sense that it is willing to offer its life in this way. If they were several humans instead, with a newborn infant, if they were starving to death, and the mother said, "I am going to kill myself and I want you to cook this flesh and offer it to my children," that would be permissible, but one could not take it unto themselves to say, "I am going to kill you and feed your children." That is the mother's choice because she is self-aware. Does that answer your question?

Have a wonderful Christmas, all of you! That is all.