Verses 48–49: “Begin from Jerusalem; it is you who are the witnesses to it all. And mark this: I am sending upon you my Father’s promised gift; so stay here in this city until you are armed with the power from above.”
What a powerhouse statement Jesus makes to his disciples when he appears after his death and resurrection! “Begin from Jerusalem…stay here until you are armed with the power from above.”
Jerusalem symbolically represents the place where we betray our true nature by following collective human authority instead of God Within. It is the place of our struggles, our failures, and our deadness. The place where our egos act out of fear while God Within moves us towards death and resurrection—transformation and growth. Jerusalem is the place where we receive the power of the Holy after something in our nature dies and is reborn.
The cycle of birth, death, and resurrection illustrates the Theory of the Conservation of Energy for our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies. In a nutshell, the theory states that energy is never lost. Something in our nature is born; it comes into our actions as thought, feeling, and movement. It lives for a while, and then the energy dissipates. Death releases energy from a dead form. A new cycle of thought, feeling, and movement shows up. To grow consciously, we must willingly move through the cycles.
Human nature tends to shy away from transformation. We do not like consciously bearing the many deaths of our self-image, daily behaviors, and commitments that happen on the path of individuation (or salvation). Our tendency is to want to run away from self-betrayals, struggles, and failures.
We do not want to take responsibility for our choices, so we unsuccessfully dismiss our shame and guilt. We distract ourselves, pretend nothing has happened, or numb out. Yet, we are called to begin from the place we are by consciously bearing the feelings.
I imagine the disciples had to bear feelings of shame and guilt about Jesus’ death. They had to stay conscious of the horrors of all they had witnessed. They were gathered together in this knowledge when their Master teacher appeared in resurrected form. Jesus came to them in the place of their collective knowing.
Our inner collective knowing comes together when we relate to all within our nature. We do this by dialoguing with the various energy states (i.e., sensations, emotions, thoughts, etc.) that arise in us. Imagine gathering all our sensations, emotions, feelings, thoughts, etc. into the conference room of our heart. There we wait for and receive the power of God Within.
We have to be present to the reality of our inner world to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. To begin from the inner Jerusalem, we must open to the power of God Within that stirs in our life force. Our conscious realization of where we have not embodied our true nature, God Within, is the starting point. Here, we receive the spirit to embody more fully the truth of our larger Self.
What is the symbolic Jerusalem in your life? Identify the inner relationships, situations, and patterns where you continue to betray your true nature.
Dialogue with the energies (sensations, emotions, beliefs, etc.) at play in these areas. Imagine gathering all into the conference room of your heart where you encounter God Within. Receive the power of the Holy Spirit that flows in your life force.
Photo Credit: David King/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)