“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
—John 5:24, NIV
Eternal life is not eternal if it doesn’t exist right now, because that which is eternal has no beginning or end. We either have eternal life now, or we don’t have it. Because you are reading this now, you can be sure you have it, even if you don’t know it for yourself.
Resurrection is not something that happens in the future after death, but something that can happen now, in the present, during life. Actually, it is not really something that happens, but is something that is realized, recognized, discovered, made known, actualized in our life. We become aware of it, whereas before we were unaware, unconscious, ignorant, blind.
How is that possible? Don’t we need to be dead to resurrect? Most people are “dead,” spiritually, not knowing who or what they are. They think they are an ego, a “self” with body and brain, and that ego “surely dies” at the end of mortal life. But awakening to the truth of our nature, our foundational essence that is embedded in the fabric of reality, that is One with the Absolute, we transcend the limited and finite ego identity, and identify ourselves with the Infinite and Eternal, that which “lives” forever. The ego doesn’t have eternal life, rather God has eternal Life. We must come to identify ourselves with and in God, Brahman, Nirvana, the Tao.
“Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.”
—John 5:25, NIV
The dead were hearing the voice of the Son of God, even as Jesus spoke these words. Those with ears to hear heard, and realized eternal life while in their mortal flesh. They “crossed over from death to life.”
The spiritual endeavor is to identify with God, to awaken to one’s Self in God, not merely similar in kind or purpose, but thoroughly and exactly the same as what God is, that God has in fact incarnated as You! We are One with Nature, with the Universe, with Reality, with the Ultimate, the Absolute, Being, Life, Truth, with the Source of All. But we can’t see this. It is so obvious and plain that it has become invisible to us, hidden in plain sight. Our ego pulls the veil over our eyes, and we feel separate and apart, detached from the ground of Being. As long as we identify solely with our ego, we will feel so separated, because that is what the ego is, the fallen “separate self” of human consciousness. Atonement (at-one-ment) is transcending that egoic state of consciousness, and realizing one’s true nature as One with all things, all beings, with Being itself.
Of course, we have being now, don’t we? If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be reading these words. The fact that we know we exist is evidence of our being. And this being is One with Being. It is the same Being.
We might ask, but when we die, don’t we stop having being? That’s only if we identify with the limited finite body/brain, the ego construction. These are temporal manifestations of nature. They come and go. What we really are is the Nature itself. We are the Life that inhabits the body. We are the Light-energy that flows through it. We are a part of reality as Reality has manifested itself. In this moment, what you are is what God has manifested, as God has manifested Itself. We are never separate from God, truly, but are God manifesting.
Does that mean that evil people are also part of God? Yes. There is an opposition in all manifested dualistic things, a light and darkness, good and bad, hot and cold, up and down. It is not that the people are evil, there are no inherently evil people, but that they have been blinded into doing evil things, behaviors, things which harm themselves and others. When people harm themselves or others intentionally, God is grieved because God is harmed. God suffers this to happen, because otherwise there is no existence. God can’t prevent evil any more than God can prevent night, or cold. These are polarities of existence, of reality, opposite ends of a single spectrum of nature, and a unity can be found in those opposites.
What God can do is wake up, in us. When we become aware of our deep unity with all of nature, and with each other, then we can be the hands of God that help alleviate suffering in the world. We can recognize the beams in our own eyes which blind us into harming ourself and others, and remove them before worrying about solving others’ problems. We can come to know our Self, our deepest truest Self, the Christ, the Buddha-nature, the Atman, the Tao, that is One with all things and all beings, that is the fabric of reality itself, that is energy in motion, consciousness becoming aware of itself.
When we wake up as God, then we know we have eternal life, because that is what God is. God is the God of the living (Luke 20:38), of Life, of Light, of energy, of Spirit, of motion, of change, of creation, of the seasons, of hot and cold, of light and dark. God encompasses and transcends all things that are, and that includes you and me. We are all in God, for in God “we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
“For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.”
—John 5:26, NIV
This universe has created life, has produced life in itself, and has given that life to each of us to have life in ourselves. It is that Life that makes us, us. We are not the body/brain alone. A corpse has a body and brain too. That is not what makes us, us. We are a living being. It is the living, it is the conscious being, that makes us what we are. We are the Life. We are the Being. That is what we really are. And these are eternal in nature. Wherever we find Life and Being, we find our Self.
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”
—John 5:28-29, NIV
Most people are “in their graves” even now, thinking that their life consists of this particular body/brain. No, what we are is the Life itself that inhabits bodies and brains, it is the Life that gives conscious awareness of the world, it is the Light-energy that makes it possible for us to know and be. That is what we are. We are the knowing and the being, the awareness and the life that makes it possible. This knowing, being, awareness, life, is our true nature, our deepest nature. We are that life-giving process that continually brings forth new knowing, new being, new creation.
Those that hear his voice and do good will rise from their “graves” and live life as Life, bringing joy, and love, and light to others, and alleviating their suffering as much as possible. Those who are blinded by their egos, by their temporal finite mortal bodies/brains/minds, and who thus do harm to themselves and others will only live their lives to their grief, to the condemnation of unending perceived separation of the “separate self.”
We cross over from death to life, we resurrect, when we identify ourselves with Life itself, wherever Life is found. That is Us. That is God manifesting, incarnating. That is the life-giving Spirit. That is Love. We are not “judged” (condemned to separation), because we have realized at-one-ment in God. That is how we discover who and what we really are, and we come to know eternal life, God’s Life, the life that never began and will never end, as it is manifested in our Self.