Is it possible to DO all the right things, relatively speaking, without BEing aware of ones true nature? Most certainly! Many who view themselves as mere, sinful human beings have done marvelous things in the name of Love. However, when one realizes the fullness that they, themselves, are partakers in the Divine Nature ( II Peter 1:4 ), then, unhindered by the false understanding that they are prone to sin, that one will the more readily exercise ( manifest ) the Christ-Consciousness & exhibit the Christ before the world.
Taken at face value, the Hebrew Scriptures, as we read in our English Bibles anyway, seem to be focused on the physical aspects of life. However, we see Jesus, in the Gospels, turning that understanding on its head when He told His audience that it was the thought that counted. He told them that if they merely hated their brother in their heart ( secretly ), it was as if they had murdered him ( think Cain & Abel ). Jesus had a lot to say about the Kingdom of Heaven as well, especially about its nearness; He told the Pharisees that it was not something they could observe, but that the Reality was something that only manifested from within.
The apostle Paul told his readers that the Kingdom of Heaven did not consist of everyday activities like eating & drinking, nor was it something that would be entered into by physical bodies ( 'flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God'-I Corinthians 15:50 ), rather, the Kingdom was manifested from within & was made known in their actions, 'righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit' ( Romans 14:17 ). Jesus, Paul & the other apostles all made clear that it was the inner, working through the outer, which decided the issues of life.
We are all children of the Creator God; Scripture makes that clear! What is not so clear to some, is whether 'all' means 'all' or just those who, as the Psalmist wrote, 'have made a covenant with Me (YHWH ) by sacrifice' ( Psalm 50:5b ) We know that 'all' are Creations of the Creator God, but most Christians would have trouble acknowledging that we are thus 'all' Children of our Heavenly Father. As Children of our Heavenly Father, 'all' of us, we must then be aware that 'we' are of the same Essence. Being of the same Essence, the realization that we are, by nature, Divine, should not be far behind. Our Divinity, however, does not mean that we will never fail; though we are perfect ( Hebrews 10:14 ); because of our selfish ego, we, in the flesh, so to speak, often fail to follow the dictates of our heart, or what is called our 'gut instinct'.
The biblical Story of Cain & Abel gives a good example of a bad choice made through the selfish ego. Because his brother made an acceptable sacrifice, as opposed to Cain's, which was not, Cain quickly grew to hate his brother so much that he decided to murder him! He was no less a son, in fact, of Adam's, because of his bad decision, though he was banished from their presence: some might call that a metaphorical or separational death. It was through the exercise of this same selfish thinking that his father, Adam, had sinned in the first place & experienced separation from the Blessed Presence of the Creator God by being banished from the Garden.
The apostle wrote to the Church at Corinth, who were enamored with philosophy, 'what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?' ( I Corinthians 2:11 ) The Truth of this statement should lead us to the realization that it is not through philosophizing with our mind, or ego, that our true nature is manifest, but that our true nature is manifest, or known, only by that same nature; Descarte's famous statement, 'I think, therefore I am', is therefore dis-proven. We are who we are, not because we think, or believe we are such, but because we are of One Essence with the Creator God!
Actions, to a great degree, prove the thoughts of humanity! Though not always the case, it is through our actions that what we really, truly believe comes shining through. One may claim to believe thus & thus, but when it comes right down to it, that one will often act in opposition to their stated belief; on the other hand ( the other side of the coin, so to speak ), another may not claim to believe any certain thing, yet act rightly, in accordance with the Truth, though that one may not claim it to be Truth.
The Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus & the apostles told us, is not something visible, though we manifest it through our righteousness, our justice. Even though the best of us does not always manifest the Kingdom Principle through our actions, the Kingdom of Heaven is present with us. When we become aware of this, when we become aware of our Divinity, our true nature, we are thus freed to pursue our course without all the hang-ups, the burdens that the oppression of centuries of religious teaching has taught us about ourselves & ultimately, the Nature of the Creator God!
We have noted previously that, despite the lack of awareness of their True Nature, many throughout history have been very successful in propagating, or bringing to realization the Kingdom of Heaven. Without understanding the True Nature, maybe, of the Kingdom, they have manifested it through their actions.
The complaint of the majority today when the presence of the Kingdom is mentioned is that 'this can't be the Kingdom, because look at all the evil that goes unchecked, it would seem, around us!'Sometimes this reasoning might seem hard to argue with, but for the fact that, as we saw, it is through our actions that the Kingdom is manifest. If one is unaware of the Kingdom around him or her, it is because the actions of those surrounding him or her are not following the Kingdom Principle!
The Presence of the Kingdom of Heaven in each one of us is an undeniable fact! It is through the choices we make that it is manifest, however. When we fail to manifest it before the world, it does not mean that the Kingdom is no longer present; it just means that those around us may find it more difficult to realize it, to become aware of it. When we follow the Great, Universal Principle, we find that awareness comes much more easily; awareness, not only of those surrounding us, but our own awareness, or realization, of the Divine Nature of all!
Charles Haddon Shank