The Knowledge of Good and Evil
Identity determines who and what things are. In the sequence of creativity, identity is at or near the very beginning. It may even be before the beginning. Identity determines the nature of the thing to be conceived. It may be the ultimate abstraction you can reach for, before it is born in idea. In the world of the real, the infinity of good is true identity. It is yours and mine. It is I. The oneness of every good thing is inherent in your spiritual identity. The manifest idea of true infinite identity is you. It is us.
At the level of infinite abstractions, the whole of identity is more than simply what the "I am" is. Infinite identity also includes the specific identification of what "I am not." From the viewpoint of a finite sense of identity, I am not my opposite. From the viewpoint of infinite identity, I am my infinite opposite. The I declares itself to be infinite holiness and infinite unholiness, fit together as one. It has a transfinite voice that declares, I infinitely am, and one that says, I infinitely am not. If you think about these things and get a wisp of meaning, that is doing well.
In accepting my opposite as part of infinite identity, I can show forth an affirmative negative - a sweet nothing. The infinite opposite of the light we seek is infinite darkness already filled with light. You can listen to the voice that says, I am infinite darkness. I am infinite nonsense. I am all the infinite expletives. I am redeeming every dark word. To proceed here you need to stay connected to your source, love your enemies, and let them all be infinite. The identity of infinite goodness speaks as the divine spark in you and says, I am that I am. Infinite identity says, I am the infinite love that I am.
The I am and the I am not constitute the wholeness of the infinite holy "I." That is yours. That is ours. This "I" is true identity. It is timeless collective individual universal identity. It could be said to be the infinite "I." But even that might be modifying it, in a sense, limiting it. The ultimate "I" may be infinite and finite, fit together in perfect harmony.
True identity is holy. It is an infinite unholy hell. It is infinitely righteous and infinitely unrighteous, infinitely simple and infinitely complex, infinitely clean and infinitely unclean. It is its infinite affirmation, declaration, and assertion. It is its infinite denial, contradiction, and opposition. Let all these be infinite.
The "I" is an on-going revelation of the wholeness of infinity. It is going on forever. It makes perfect sense. It is nonsense. It is one. The part that gives us pause is that we cannot steer this mind with our own. When we know enough about it and are ready to trust it, we can only let go and let it be ours - I.
True identity is infinite whole and hole fit together as an ever larger whole. One, forever defining a perfectly safe place and time for itself. Invisible identity and abstract opportunity parent the infinite idea. This child is a cross between the infinite I am and the infinite I am not. It is a lovely cross, and its name is wonderful. It is a little terror. It is not a human cross but an infinite cross, an infinite idea conceived from the holy identity of the infinite I.
We reach for the "I" not the "i."
That is the word. We know what it means. Having ascended to the highest peak, we can sense both the rarefied atmosphere and the granite beneath our feet. Now at our highest point, we do a pirouette. Perhaps this peak is only the tip of the iceberg. In time, we must go back down and put our vision to work. But we know where the peak is, and we can always stand here to see it all fit together. If you try this, remember the two great commandments.
Reaching into abstractions of infinite identity, we avail ourselves of thoughts that make up the whole. From the standpoint of the I, invisible substance and form are one, and we can begin to see the wholeness of the infinite idea. The infinite idea is first assimilated within as pure information. It is a message from our infinite identity about our infinite identity.
This I looks for our worshipful adoration. It looks for us to seek it as the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. It looks for us to reach out to its wisdom, to fall before it in humble submission, to take its name and identity and authority and prerogatives as our own, to use it as our very ego and will and mind and being, to be triumphant, to be one.
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Having completed the process of differentiating evil from good, separating it from ourselves, and realizing its nothingness, we are ready to find a bigger sense of wholeness. We have rejected evil until it faded into empty space. It has been dissociated from our mental world. While any sense of evil still appears in our beliefs as empty space we bring out that it is already filled with the idea of infinite goodness. When we hear its name, we let it be infinite and integrate it, but not as something. Now we relish letting infinite goodness make sweet nothing of evil to provide place for our conception.
When thinking about infinity in the first person, a more integrated sense of things begins to appear. Because of infinity, there are not two contending or separate halves representing the knowledge of good and evil. The infinite words that bring your renewal and the sweet comforting silence that welcomes them are not two halves that were parted. It started as one, and that is how it is speaking to you.
There is no isolated idea of good and separate idea of evil, even if evil is nothing but empty space. Infinity mandates that all things exist as one, that all be reconcilable to each other and to itself. The idea of infinity inspires a new dynamic in our spiritual growth. As our idea and sense of the infinite grows larger, the empty space it fills grows larger too. The more is learned about the infinity of good, the more is brought to light of the infinity of evil, not a sense of it as real, but a sense of it as nothingness, as opportunity, and ultimately as a sweetly inconceivable abstraction. The idea of infinity presents the knowledge of infinite good and evil as one, with recognition of the supersensible wholeness of that one. This union is filled with light and is defiant of human limitations.
The progression from undifferentiated observation to final integration appears to form a complete cycle. If we were to picture such a process symbolically, it might look like something happening slowly in pond water seen under a microscope. Perhaps this cycle illustrates human spiritual evolution over the last thousands of years or the spiritual growth of a single individual or of a single cell. It may be a process ever taking place on the frontiers of revelation as new aspects of the infinite idea dawn in thought, a sort of spiritually mental metabolism. It is a pattern beginning and ending with wholeness. It goes from wholeness to differentiation and self-division, to separation from within, to disassociation and exclusion, and finally to reconciliation and integration, forming a new sense of wholeness. Maybe this goes on forever.
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Having risen to the heights of infinite abstractions, we now find the need to come back down to earth, so to speak. Knowledge of the infinite oneness of things provides a new and better standpoint from which to work things out. Dealing with opposites of goodness at the highest levels equips us to practice more effectively the four types of spiritual action, handling things as they appear. Having worked out the problem of good and evil at its essence, we are now ready to apply our conclusions, gradually and gracefully, to the issues of everyday life.
We can hold thoughts of pure infinite goodness and love as consciousness without subtle fear of contradiction. We know about contradiction and denial and all those things. When they appear, we will simply let them all be infinite, embody them, and let them vanish from consciousness. Having new insight into the ultimate nature of all dark things, we can analyze and antidote them, gain the perspective to face human problems confidently, and work out their solutions in practical ways. Returning to our familiar levels of spiritual action, we can now find them somewhat supercharged. The spiritual being, knowing, faith, and discipline that prepared us for our high destination now welcome us back from the mountaintop and give us human comforts and human hands.
Our distinctions about the levels in which human beliefs stratify give us a preliminary structure for understanding the spiritually mental realm. Familiarity with the words and conceptions that comprise our spiritual ideals helps us sort out thoughts and choose the best. The idea of infinity solves the theological problem of good and evil, resulting in a new idea of wholeness.
An understanding of spiritual issues begins to blossom as we exercise our thoughts from a spiritual principle, and it continues with thinking and being from the standpoint of infinite identity. Earlier levels of spiritual action are still important. They are best worked out by individuals doing their own thinking and identifying themselves correctly. Using this process, spiritually or infinitely minded thinking can regenerate all our thoughts and beliefs. Reaching out to a spiritual principle or to the pure word of infinite identity enables us to begin this process.
Because the world of transcendent thought could appear disconnected from the rest of the world, it is especially important that the thinker, pondering spiritual and infinite things, stay connected to reality and to common sense even as they are transformed. Our best thinking needs to be applied to regenerate our beliefs about the world. Only in the real world is the process completed. This is the place where infinite spiritual energies transfigure our beliefs and actions. Participating in the world provides us with experiences that are food for thought and help us make new room for spiritual progress.
Although this book might seem to be mostly about thinking, thinking is not a solitary end in itself. It is just the beginning. At the standpoint of infinity, thinking and living are one. One cannot be thinking fully if not living fully, and one cannot be living fully if not thinking fully. To work the thinking process in seclusion, to conclude that one could thrive in an atmosphere of dreamy isolation or contemplative musing, does the process an injustice and stagnates. Knowledge of infinite ideas, more than any other level of spiritual action, requires our involvement in the issues of life. The process that begins with radical infinite spiritual thinking naturally results in fully involved living.
We can continue to find new connections between our best thinking and the ways we live day-to-day. The individual thinker can determine how best to do this. There is no need for anyone to prescribe human courses of action for the spiritually motivated thinker who is listening for the infinite word and watching for the infinite idea. Rules for living are best the outcome of sound beliefs, and beliefs are most progressive when they are freshly generated from within rather than obtained secondhand.
It is not always easy to maintain a progressive spiritual thought-life together with a life of full worldly involvement. These two spheres sometimes seem to conflict. They may sometimes seem irreconcilable, but they can and must be reconciled. We must keep them connected. Keeping one's thinking and living connected sometimes takes work. It takes energy. It costs self. The energy required to maintain the connection between thinking and living is love. The range of our loving establishes the bounds for our conception. Infinite love is forever extending itself, ever more fully showing forth its nature as infinity. Love embraces the whole of thought and experience, and love provides for the natural union of opposites in a harmonious one.
Identifying with the infinite I solves the ultimate problem. It is the ultimate relationship. It reveals the integration of thinking, loving, and living into one whole infinitely minded being. It reconciles opposites into an infinite holy one. Infinity reveals itself to us as our identity. It unfolds itself to us as our source. It is our infinite forever I.
Copyright 1994, Jim Chapman
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