Beyond I AM:
There is a phrase that I have used over the past several years that many who pursue a deeper spiritually have encountered as well. “The more I learn the less I seem to know.” I was raised a Christian and the central figure of my faith is the person of Jesus Christ. Yet, “The more I learn” I soon discover the heart of the Christ message has been compromised and corrupted by religious dogma, tradition and ritual. This website, “In Christ Victorious” will remain the same in title but not in the traditional sense as Christianity would define victory but as Jesus would define it. The victory that lies "Beyond I AM" and reveals the truth of your eternal nature.
For myself, the meaning of the words “In Christ Victorious” has taken on a greater significance in title. Christ rose above his religious traditions and conquered death by teaching us who we really are, the very essence of all creation itself. Those last several statements alone will cause judgment to fall heavily upon me from the Christian community but that is to be expected. Theology has methodically stripped his message of your self worth to the point to where only ritual based upon control and fear can redeem you. As Jesus would soon discover, to oppose mans religious systems is usually fatal in its outcome.
The meaning of the Christian cross has become even more symbolic as the painting above perfectly illustrates. As you look at the image of the cross in the foreground, imagine as if the horizontal beam represents the past on one side and the future on the other. Now imagine the vertical as representing the life we experience now. Where the two intercept is this very present moment. That was the heart of his message. Jesus called it the narrow gate. An ever present kingdom that was here and now. The kingdom of heaven exists or can be fully realized when the present moment is allowed to be as it truly is, the only moment that is ever real in your life.
Religious law and ritual isn’t the moral compass by which we should try to live nor was it intended to ever be so. If you are familiar with any of the patriarchs found in the Hebrew scriptures you would know this to be true. You begin by finding the goodness that is already within you and allowing that goodness to emerge. The beginning of inner freedom, the peace beyond all understanding, starts with the realization that we are not the thought self or “I am this or I am that” labels we have placed upon ourselves. In reality, we are one and the same because we come and return to the same source.
I believe the central message of Jesus can be summarized in John 10:10. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” The thief or enemy is our egoic sense of self. When we try to live according to a self image we have created in our mind of being spiritual we fall into an ego trap. Our consciousness, our true self, gets lost in the false dream of that imaginary spirituality. The abundant life Jesus is referring to is the one where you realize how spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe but everything to do with your state of inner consciousness.
“And God said unto Moses, I AM that I AM” Exodus 3:14 (a)
“I AM that I AM” is your title and at the same time, its underlining meaning points beyond the words “I AM.” Who you ultimately are is pure consciousness that is beyond form and one with all that exists. The universe is experiencing itself through our form, through all forms. Begin to imagine that if you can? The psalmist penned it perfectly when he wrote, “Be Still and know that I Am God.” There is no duality here. God isn’t found in the stillness, he is the stillness. In this one simple word sentence is captured the very essence of your being.
In the next coming months I will use this site to proclaim a victorious message that isn’t based upon fear, prejudice or religious law or ritual. I will base this victorious message upon the biblical premise that “God or your very essence, is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow” because our nature is timeless in its non-form or being. That which you truly are.
James Robert Kessler c2011
Beyond I AM:
There is a Dream that is Dreaming Us
When I was a little boy I had quite the imagination. As I grew, imagination became self discovery and I became like the dreamer Himself. Not just His dream but the dream of being, the I AM that dwells beyond any thought or form.
Being or stillness is the best way to describe our true nature but even words can’t adequately describe this truth. The truth is most of us live in the realm of thoughts or forms which comprise our past and our future. Life isn’t such a mysterious journey if you live and accept the present moment as it plays itself out in whatever form it presents itself. As an artist I’ve always understood what it meant by the proverb “a picture paints a thousand words.” Yet even pictures or symbols, which are just words in themselves, can’t adequately portray the essence of who are or the stillness from which you came.
When the word God is used it conjures up an image thus equating God as some sort of form. It then becomes my or our god is the only true god. God has become a closed concept. An all powerful entity that dwells beyond the stars and sits on a great white throne and this is one of many concepts of God based solely upon thoughts and imaginations. Form and time go hand in hand. In the dimension of time all forms decay and eventually fade away. Only through acknowledging the formless or stillness that you are you able to recognize this truth.
This truth is hard to accept because our belief systems are set up to tell us that only God is divine which creates the illusion of being separate from your true nature which is the very thing you’ve known as god all your life. Life is the now or any god moment. It is the moment that the past and the future intersects with each other and eternity or consciousness is revealed. Again, no words can illustrate this truth but only point us to it. If you can only accept the truth of who you really are then as Jesus has said, “You will know the truth and that truth shall set you free.”
Belief systems are just religious thought and dogma (word forms) created by the mind from which the egoic self dwells, which is the greatest enemy or hindrance of mankind. The word “God” is the most overused and misunderstood word in all the world. Tradition and ritual does serve its purpose in time yet it only prolongs the truth to where it intended to lead you. The truth of who you really are, formless consciousness. The truth is you are already there or deep down you already know it. You are divine, holy and timeless in where you came from and where you’ll return once the form you call you has reached its end.
Mankind has suffered greatly since the evolution of the mind and thought patterns that birthed his greatest enemy, the ego. The primary cause of misery is never a situation but your thoughts about it. Most people are slaves to the positive/ negative thoughts about the past and future. Make the "now" the primary focus of your life. Again, life is "now".
There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be. Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the "now." Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the "now." If there were nothing but thought in you, you wouldn't even know you are thinking. You would be like a dreamer who doesn't know he is dreaming. When you know you are dreaming, you are awake within the dream.
The dream that is dreaming us is formless, consciousness. Every time you go to sleep you connect again with it, with your origin. Everything in the cosmos is an expression of the vast energy field of being or consciousness. All phenomena arises out of the vastness of being itself, and being itself is not a form, you cannot grasp it because you are it. You cannot think about it because you are it. The “I AM” that is beyond form.
This is key, you find God the moment you realize that you don't need to seek God anywhere because he is the essence of your very being. God just is whether you believe in him or not. The Hebrew writer beautifully described it in this manner. “Be still and know that I Am God” Until we can communicate full self-acceptance, our lives will lack healing. Our main spiritual teacher is stillness. This powerful energy field is always available to us through living in the now.
James Robert Kessler
Because of Him Art Ministry 2011