Many are familiar with the traditional way of praying that ends with the acknowledgement of the name of the Father (or Creator), the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three aspects grouped together are the Trinity, a Divine thing that is referred to by the churches but not often explained. As mystics, we are never to be satisfied with an academic teaching. This is the path of direct experience and we seek to experience God in His entirety. As we invite this, pray for it, make it our number one priority, by the Law, we will experience it without a doubt. This sets us up to speak with great conviction about things we know by experience and not simply that which was told to us at church.
In this lesson, we will learn about the Holy Spirit so that we may begin to strengthen our relationship to this aspect of God. The Holy Spirit is an aspect of God and will become known to you first and foremost by your desire and preparation. Always remember that your desire or your sincere wanting for something is a vital catalyst that ignites a strong prayer. There is no faking desire. Decide you want to know and be in the Spirit and this will set things in motion.
The Holy Spirit can be experienced as a Presence that comes over us, or into the midst of a situation. It is like a blast of Divine Perfection that instantly elevates us to express our God nature almost without effort. When we read in the New Testament about Christians being in the Spirit, they are referring to those times when something beyond themselves was suddenly present and they were able to do or say things without thought that were not only perfect for the moment but had that unmistakable quality of God.
When we speak about the quality of God, we want to train ourselves to recognize it and then allow it. Eventually we come to expect it because we have developed the faith to know how to invoke it. Words will generally fall short. The goal is to experience it and validate it afterwards through communicating with a Priest or Teacher. Don’t seek to validate things of the Spirit with people who are not practicing. It is too much of a risk that they won’t recognize what you are talking about and thus diminish the value of the experience. Sometimes you get lucky and someone will have that feeling of awe when you share what happened. But as I said, it’s a risk and I don’t like your odds.
During a speech, a politician may be in the Spirit and his words thus take on an elevated quality as though he is speaking the direct Word of God which is perfect for the audience at that moment. A teacher may become spirit filled in teaching a class and find herself delivering the material with incredible clarity and energy such that the whole class is captivated.
A band can be in the Spirit and be so in tune with each other such that the music lifts them to another state of being. These are all examples of how the Spirit may manifest in which other people are listening. The Spirit also comes to provide inspiration when one is alone when a project needs to be done, or a book is being written, or a conflict requires perspective in order to be resolved. Someone working on a construction project may invoke the Spirit and immediately be inspired on how to tackle a difficult issue. Whatever the case, generally the Spirit comes when there is a need and a desire for it.
The absolute most important aspect of understanding the Holy Spirit is that when we call It and It comes, we become the vehicle for Divine expression. Therefore, we don’t take credit for what comes but simply marvel at how God works and works through us. There is tremendous liberty in just this one idea! We don’t do the thing that happens but we allow it to come through us. We give our body, our voice, our hands, our time, our attention over to the Spirit and let things move us. Our real job is to let go and surrender to what wants to happen.
In Matthew 10:9, Jesus says, “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say.” He is preparing the apostles for the future for some would be arrested after his death and He wanted them to be aware of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit that provides the words in critical times. If we try to over prepare for future situations, we choke off the Spirit.
This is a subtle point because we do need to prepare during our lives for various situations. It is not wise for a teacher to do nothing before a class and then expect the Spirit will cover her. That would be laziness. As in all things concerning God, we are required to do our part and God will do His. There is generally work to be done on our end if we want this sort of life. We don’t just sit back, pray and expect everything to be handed to us on a silver platter. That would be a misunderstanding of how God and we are supposed to be in relationship.
So how does all this work? How do we not over prepare so as to avoid cutting out the Spirit but at the same time, prepare enough so we are available for the Spirit? This very question can only be answered by the trial and error of each soul. One easy way to think of it is this; do as much as you can beforehand and then, in the moment, forget everything and trust what comes through. You will know the balance by your attempts, your efforts, your failures and your victories. In simple terms, by your experience will you learn how to be in relationship with the Spirit. In the meantime, here are some guidelines to assist you along the way.
There is a definite quality to the atmosphere when the Spirit is present. Begin to tune into this. It can be described as a rarefied or heightened spark in the air. It is as though everything suddenly becomes very crisp and clear and there is nothing else that matters. It can feel like we have slipped into a drug induced state only without the heaviness and blurriness of the narcotic. When you sense or feel this, the Holy Spirit is present and leading things. Notice what you can in the moment.
The Spirit will create an urgency in you to express or do something, or be silent and just listen. You must tune into the feeling when this comes over you. It can be described as a bubbling up from within, a message that is coming from within with no explanation. In those times, it is best to have the courage and speak or act without a lot of forethought. Or as I said, refrain from saying what you thought was so important because that is now the feeling you are experiencing.
In our meditation courses, we teach the importance of tuning into feelings. Here is why it is so important! The vibration of the Holy Spirit is such that you tune in through your feeling side, not through your mind. If you are lodged in the mind, thinking about what to do and say, mentally analyzing the situation in the moment, you will miss the opportunity.
The difference between when the Spirit is moving you to speak and when you really want to say a specific thing can be subtle but generally it’s about timing. When we have an agenda, we have already planned out what we want to say. You might even say that this can have a selfish quality to it because we want to make our point regardless if it is the best or right thing to say. In these cases, it’s about us and not about God.
The Spirit comes over us and has the perfect message, the perfect decision, the perfect action but is so spontaneous because it is alive in that very moment. It has the perfection of God that considers everything and everyone and brings forth the absolute freshest thing that serves the moment. When we are the channel for this thing to come through us, we become very useful to God. Practice inviting such experiences.
So remember, We invoke the Spirit by our desire to be useful to God and other people. We pray, asking for the Spirit’s assistance in the situations we face and require courage to let go of our concepts in the moment and be carried. No greater joy exists than to be a servant of God, living in the Spirit, speaking and doing God’s Will while alive on Earth.