Verses 49–51: “Jesus said, ‘I came to bring fire to the earth…Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!’”
Our desire for peace and unity at all costs seems misguided when we seek to know the presence of God Within. Jesus said, “I came to bring fire…(not) peace…rather division.”
Fire is a symbol for consciousness. Consciousness is the awareness we feel in our body’s sensations, impulses, and affects. It is embodied knowing that lives in our cellular consciousness. We know in our gut, we hear with our inner ear, and we see with our spiritual eye. When we live in the fire of consciousness, the myriad aspects of our selves that have conflicting desires, beliefs, and action patterns become known in a way that changes us.
Conflict and division are inherent in our very nature as a human being. Seeking the presence of God Within means inviting consciousness of our inner divisions, our conflicts, our compartmentalized energies, and our dismissed experiences. The divisions have always been present; we were just unconscious (unaware and numb) with them.
God Within wakes up our consciousness to see the whole picture of our self. We cannot hold onto the ideal we think we are in the presence of God Within. We must face the parts of our self that are less desirable, problematic, undeveloped, feared, unclaimed, or seemingly too much. We have to own how parts of us work against each other.
We need the muscle of discernment that comes as we, with our egos, live in relationship to God Within. The sword of discernment is an image of division that evokes separating the false from the true, the illusion from the reality, and the healthy from the unhealthy. We use the tool of division to listen for the greater truth, to look for the bigger picture, and to speak the truth of our soul.
Paradox exists in that we feel an unexplainable calm when we consciously live with the divisions in our nature. Somehow, relating to the conflicting energies simultaneously shifts our felt sense to a state akin to peacefulness. We access a center of Self that allows unified, forward movement in spite of the divisions.
The center is our conscious point of connection to God Within. God Within is the source of the dancing flames of our desires, impulses, actions, etc. The divisions are the separate flames of the blazing fire of our soul. To know the divisions of our nature is to know the varying aspects of God Within.
Where do you feel divided? What are the conflicting desires, thoughts, and impulses with which you struggle at this time? Where are you certain that you are of a “one-track mind?”
Ask God Within to help you see clearly and to know in your body how the varying expressions are a part of your nature. Dialogue with each division with an eye towards how it fits in the whole of your embodied life. Open to the center of Self where you experience the unexplainable calm of God Within.