FATHER AND CHILD (Taken from the Gospel of Philip)
What a father has belongs to his child,
But not while the child is still little.
When the child is grown, however,
Then the father turns over all he possesses.
For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for edifying the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Today we are going to look at the idea of “maturity” and readiness as it is reflected in these two passages, and how this is played out on the level of both the individual as well as the collective. Paul talks about how Christ “equips his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
When I started my conscious spiritual path 13 years ago, I was very enamored with the spiritual world and what it was doing for me on a self-serving level. However, I had no real concept of the purpose of service or how reaching out in compassionate service to others was a key component of spiritual growth. I was not spiritually mature or really mature in many other respects and it began to show. My quest for spiritual enlightenment had a foundation of sand.
True spiritual growth requires a real level of maturity as it gives one great power, and to quote Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility”. That is why the Gospel of Philip states that while what the Father has indeed does belong to the child, it is not given while the child is still a child.
From my own experience, I have found that there are times when we will see and hear quick glimpses and far-away voices of what could be, but we are not quite up to the task of getting there because our maturity is not where it needs to be to fully receive this. It is through this maturity that allows us as Paul says, “the fullness of Christ”
Paul goes on to say, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.”
When we are children, we begin to develop our sense of self we see the world as revolving around us and this is fairly normal and natural. What is not normal or natural is when people remain in this state of mind into and through adulthood. The British sociologist, Kingsley Dennis has a lot to say on the phenomenon of adult infancy:
“Infantile behavior is part of the cultural conditioning, because we want to be accepted; we have this fear of freedom…It’s so engrained in us that anyone who wears a lab coat, or anyone who wears a uniform of authority, we’re nodding our heads and doing anything to please them. That’s engrained from infant-hood; this wanting to be given approval; and that infancy has stayed with us.” He goes on to say how “the artificial social norms have been distracting people into these very infantile, basic psychology levels, and so it’s very difficult to have the luxury to develop our inner self- actualization”
Local author and spiritual practitioner, and therapist Paul Levy stated in his book, Dispelling Weitiko that, “People who are not fully in touch with themselves and therefore haven’t developed their own center of independent thought, self-reflective awareness, and ability to discriminate are highly suggestible to being manipulated…to take on a viewpoint other than their own”
For quite a while, I felt like I was looking for someone who “knew better” to tell me what I should do or think in certain regards. Letting go of this desire and trusting Self and your internal knowing is a key to spiritual maturity. Ya gotta grow up and have faith you can stand on your own two feet.
It wasn’t until I was really willing to begin to let go of deeply held beliefs, illusions and delusions that the process of psychological and spiritual maturity began to take place in me. It is still taking place as we speak. It won’t be until humanity is able to go through a similar process of ‘growing up’ on a large scale, that we will be able to real our collective spiritual maturity. Now, it could be said that humanity is being unwittingly kept it that state to varying degrees, but that is a subject for another time.
We finish this verse with Paul stating how we grow out of this state of infancy: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
We are the Body of Christ. Humanity is the Body of Christ. Jesus has been referred to as the Last Adam or the New Adam. First Adam or Original Adam was the original state of man, who descended from the Father-Mother, down through the densest states of matter. Jesus, on an archetypal level is the purified and re-ascended man. That is what we need to be striving for as individuals and as a collective humanity. We need to be working towards internal purification and developing our spiritual maturity. This will in turn, allow us to empower our brothers and sisters to do the same.
Truth and Love are essential to the process of purification and ascension. This requires us doing the work needed to bring ourselves to a place where we are ready to receive the gifts of spirit. We need to take personal responsibility for our own growing up process. This requires honesty and compassion. When we get there, we have brought humanity one step closer to fully actualizing the Body of Christ and re-ascending as purified grown-up Beings of Light.