By Peter Canova

There was an ancient spiritual wisdom tradition, universal throughout Sumer, India, Persia, and into the Mediterranean cultures, that spoke to the origin, destiny, and purpose of humanity. This tradition was radical, for it said that human beings were not external creations of God as we are taught in most modern religions. The startling central secret of this wisdom was that human beings are God in a particular state of being. That state of being is spirit consciousness embodied in physical form experiencing a material existence.

This concept is an enormous shift from our currently accepted paradigm of reality. The traditional modern view of God, humanity, and reality can be summarized as follows: human beings were created from the dust of the earth like lumps of clay into which God breathed life. This God is like a stern judge or bearded old emperor on a throne dispensing justice. We are rewarded for doing good and punished for sins. Sin is a built-in condition of humanity, for early humans transgressed against God, so we forever labor under the shadow of our ancestor’s actions.
One might think that many today have discarded such notions with a more enlightened or even a more atheistic view about God, but the fear and guilt of these beliefs are hardwired into the collective psyche and have a profound subconscious influence on our lives.

Now contrast this belief with the notion that God is consciousness, the source of all being. This all pervasive consciousness existed, but It desired a different state, that of experiencing. So, everything began to project Its Consciousness outward into numerous points of consciousness with a small “c.” Envision this process as a row of unlit candles. The original flame lights the first candle, the first candle lights the second, and so on.

This is the process the ancients called emanation, the outflowing or projection of God’s energetic essence to form conscious beings. So, all conscious beings are part of God’s essence, but, ah, there’s a catch. The Everything is unlimited, while to be something necessarily implies limitation. Therefore Consciousness, like an electrical current, had to be stepped down or altered like a reverse transformer. Think of the process this way— successive copies of a DVD will lose a degree of resolution and clarity in relation to the copy before it. Similarly, these separate points of spirit consciousness lose awareness the further they are projected away from the Source.

This diminished awareness or ignorance is actually a necessary precondition for having a separate sense of self. The only way the one True Consciousness of Everything can gain experience as something such as an individual being is to forget Itself, to become ignorant of Its own light in varying degrees. This is what the Hindus and Buddhists call maya, or illusion, and they have described our world as the playground in which God fools Himself. This is the basic theme of pop culture phenomena such as the Matrix movie.

And the great part about all this for you and me? We can remember. If what the tradition says is true, think of the implications. We would not be helpless creatures blown about by fate, ignorant of our origin, purpose, and destiny. We would not be born to a lowly state of sin, but only to one of forgetfulness. But we can remember. We can regain the light of the source (enlightenment) by remembrance of and focus on our true state of unity.

Armed with basic knowledge and desire, we can refocus our awareness from experiencing back to being. True meditation and contemplation is about using the knowledge described here combined with heartfelt desire to transcend our condition. This eventually leads to a personal inner experience with higher intelligence. This life altering contact transports us beyond faith and intellectual knowledge. It puts us in the highest state of knowledge, that of knowing God or Supreme Consciousness through actual experience.

If all this sounds alien to traditional modern religion, you’ll be amazed to know that these beliefs were embedded into the very original core of ancient Judaism and Christianity before being ruthlessly suppressed. The tragic loss of this tradition is closely tied in with the mysterious disappearance of the early female Christian leaders such as Mary Magdalene.

The other startling thing about this ancient spiritual tradition is that the visions brought back and recorded by its mystic practitioners predicted the most cutting edge theories of modern quantum physics—the Big Bang, Parallel Universe Theory, Relativity, and the Holographic Universe Theory among others.

This wisdom tradition was buried but not extinguished. Elements of it survived in numerous forms over the ages—the Tarot, the Rosicrucians, Theosophy, and Masonry, to mention some. It even formed the impetus for the New Age movement, as pejorative as some those elements have become.

Spiritual seekers take heart. Your search is guided and supported by this ancient tradition. It’s not a new dogma or “ism” in which to get caught. It’s a guide, a signpost along your spiritual highway, not a bus stop where you have to punch your ticket and stagnate in a particular set of beliefs. It is about true liberation and freedom to which you may come through work, desire and application of growing knowledge of spirit. And ultimately, these are the things that truly set us free.

Peter Canova’s novel, Pope Annalisa, is the first book in a trilogy called the First Souls. Pope Annalisa is a spiritual thriller about an African nun who becomes the first female pope.