The “Kingdom of God” is an often repeated phrase in the New Testament. What does it mean? My brief reflection will draw on both outer and inner traditions. I propose that there are four approaches to understanding the Kingdom of God. The first two of these approaches are more akin to “locations” of the Kingdom of God. The second two interpretations address “when” the Kingdom of God will take place.
Where is the Kingdom of God located?
The Greek word, EVTOS, may suggest “among you” or “in the midst,” but it may also mean, “inside you.” For a wonderful yet dense examination of the EVTOS in context of the Gospel, please refer to the this: http://syrcom.cua.edu/hugoye/Vol12No2/HV12N2Ramelli.pdf. Luke 17:21 is usually translated “among you” which is an external or exoteric interpretation. This has been the preference for mainline Christian denominations and while current scholarship might challenge this interpretation, it has its merits. From this point of view, the Kingdom of God is a communal reality and positions Jesus in the center. The exoteric version leads to the creation of an ecclesia, or church, where the teachings of a radically new paradigm can be nurtured, safeguarded, and taught. I am not overlooking that abuse has been committed within the ecclesia in the form of manipulation and control. However, it seems that God desired to display a new kind of beingness, a way of life whose power source would be creative force of Love, itself. For that to occur, a new community based on an entirely new way of life needed to be lived and exemplified.
The Kingdom of Heaven Is Among Us
We humans respond to modeling and imitation. We need to be able to see it first exemplified in the lives of people (i.e. the saints), and then we know it’s possible. It’s hard to imagine a new way of living and being when no precedent had been lived in that manner before. The cornerstone for this new kind of being and living would be the man, Jesus. His presence formed the center of a new “ground zero” of being that would seek to bring a light (higher vibration) to others. Some writers, feeling that the word, “Kingdom” is too patriarchal opt for a redaction of the word to, “Kindom” (see Michael Crosby, OFM Cap, Repair my Church: Becoming a Kindom Catholic at http://www.amazon.com/Repair-My-House-Becoming-22Kindom-22/dp/1570759537). That is, Jesus invited people to become brothers and sisters of each other and form a new kind of family that was not based on traditional blood ties but rather on a new kind of seeing, being, and living in the world.
The Church was supposed to safeguard and nurture the Kindom, but as we know from history, much became distorted. Still, despite all the obstacles and infiltration of negative people into the much of the power structure of the Church since the beginning, much good has come from the ecclesiastical movement. The Spirit guides through the cracks, and if my instinct is right, the Church itself is beginning to undergo a radical (roots) transformation (metanoia) which will recapture and hold out front and center the notion of communal Love based upon the teachings of its Cornerstone in new ways. These ways will include true servant leadership. humility, and agapic love for others. It will also incorporate a more expansive cosmology that includes realities that are being revealed through disclosure of 1) deceit by long-held powers that be, and 2) the existence of beings from other planets. This is the kind of Kingdom where I want to live. What about you?
The Kingdom of God Is Within Us
The second interpretation of the Kingdom of God is that its found “inside you.” This has always been the inner or esoteric traditional understanding. Jesus tells us to look inside ourselves, deeply inside, into the shadows and the light, there you’ll find the Kingdom of God. This line of thinking leads to wonderful things, too. From here, we are led the truth that there is nothing separating us from God. All is one and my little self having this experience is actually God having this experience through me. I am God’s Body and my spirit is God’s Spirit. My little personality is not the whole of God, of course. But my essential self and your essential self are God’s own Self shining through into this material world. As the source of the Law of One materials says, “Look into the mirror and see the Creator.”
The Kingdom of Heaven in the Now
If the first and second interpretations deal with where the Kingdom of God is located, the third and four interpretations have to do with the when of it all. It has become popular these days to speak of the eternal Now. Eckhart Tolle, Richard Rohr, Daniel Siegel, and countless others have contributed to a growing awareness that only the present moment exists; that time itself is an illusion. Tolle’s distinction between the psychological now and the essential now is helpful. The psychological now perceives the passage of time and can plan for the future. However, one can learn to be grounded in the essential now, which is always in the present moment, and use the gift of the psychological mind to learn from the past and plan for the future. The trick is to turn off the mind and return to the eternal now while engaged in whatever task.
How does this relate to the Kingdom of God? The eternal now is the Kingdom of God. There is no “waiting around for it to come.” We experience it through a timeless contemplative presence. The Kingdom of God can be felt and lived right here, right now. All that is required to open the door to the Kingdom is the key of awareness that now is all that exists. What happens in the stillness and silence of mind in the present moment is truly magical. There is a profound sense of groundedness as if one is plugged into a larger energetic reality. As the Eastern Orthodox say, “We experience God through His energies.” In this state, the soul feels connected to everything and everyone even when physically alone. That is because flowing through the Now is eternal Love. The very same love that forged the visible and invisible Universe flows and renews every moment. All you have to do is surrender into the flow. We have to allow the now to break into our awareness and we do that by allowing what is, to be. The Kingdom of God is eternal love dancing as light and delighting as its own self-diversity recognizes it inherent oneness. The Kingdom of God is God’s Mind, Body, and Spirit dancing with each other.
The Kingdom of Heaven in the Harvest
The fourth interpretation is a little more esoteric and in comparison to the above definition, it is more relativistic. This does not make it less important, and in fact, as we will see it’s implications are hugely significant given current cosmic events. Many religious traditions speak about a shift that will happen to the earth that will usher in a new consciousness. The source of the Law of One material calls this shift the “harvest” into the “fourth density.” Many Biblical passages that modern readers have rendered as symbolic might in fact be explanations of what this new density of consciousness will be like. Indeed, the fourth density will be the New Jerusalem where love will reign in a much more undistorted fashion. Consider how the Law of One states a planet at the developmental and spiritual level as Earth transitions into a fourth density planet:
Ra: I am Ra. This will be the last full question.
The fourth density is, as we have said, as regularized in its approach as the striking of a clock upon the hour. The space/time of your solar system has enabled this planetary sphere to spiral into space/time of a different vibrational configuration. This causes the planetary sphere to be able to be molded by these new distortions.
When will it happen? When will the Kingdom of God break into our present reality? It’s undergoing right now, as I write this.
However, the thought-forms of your people during this transition period are such that the mind/body/spirit complexes of both individual and societies are scattered throughout the spectrum instead of becoming able to grasp the needle, shall we say, and point the compass in one direction.
Thus, the entry into the vibration of love, sometimes called by your people the vibration of understanding, is not effective with the present societal complex. Thus, the harvest shall be such that many will repeat the third-density cycle. The energies of your Wanderers, your teachers, and your adepts at this time are all bent upon increasing the harvest. However, there are few to harvest.
This means that many people will shield their eyes from the bright light as the vibration of consciousness increases. This doesn’t have to be that way and I believe that people will be given the opportunity to choose to open their heart more as the shift continues into the higher density. What matters is that people recognize that they are citizens of the Kingdom of God, all of us, and all of us equally. When we can see our own self in the other person, then we have opened our heart and increased our positivity. Those who don’t harvest simply aren’t ready and they will be given chances at a later time. No one is lost and all move at their own pace of soul evolution.
Does the Law of One give us an idea of what the New Jerusalem will be like? Yes:
Ra: I am Ra. We ask you to consider as we speak that there are no words for positively describing fourth density. We can only explain what is not and approximate what is. Beyond fourth density our ability grows more limited still until we become without words.
That which fourth density is not: it is not of words, unless chosen. It is not of heavy chemical vehicles for body complex activities. It is not of disharmony within self. It is not of disharmony within peoples. It is not within limits of possibility to cause disharmony in any way.
Approximations of positive statements: it is a plane of a type of bipedal vehicle which is much denser and more full of life; it is a plane wherein one is aware of the thoughts of other-selves; it is a plane where one is aware of the vibrations of other-selves; it is a plane of compassion and understanding of the sorrows of third density; it is a plane striving towards wisdom or light; it is a plane wherein individual differences are pronounced although automatically harmonized by group consensus.
My own sense is that Jesus came to Earth at the beginning of the last minor cycle (2000 years) to reveal to the 3rd Density world what the Fourth Density would be like. All of his teachings, healings, and community building served to jumpstart the transition over into 4th Density and increase the harvest. In other words, God sent Jesus into the world to show the world what will happen ahead of time. What is to occur at the end of 3rd Density time, Jesus revealed to the world 2000 years early so that the Kingdom of God could be believed in and lived. What we can’t imagine, we won’t experience. Jesus was tasked with the job, a job that he signed up for, to be the icon of this transition so that we could imagine it. Believe it in him and then believe it in yourself, as it were. See it first in him, then see it in yourself. From this perspective, the Kingdom of God is truly the New Age, the New 4th density Earth. And it is breaking in right now.
Is the Kingdom of God among us or is it inside me and you? Both are true and I think that it is no accident that the first interpretation held sway for so long in the mainstream. We needed to see that there were ties that bind us which cut across tribal, ethnic, gender, class boundaries. We are all citizens of this Kingdom. Yet, a pitfall for this interpretation is that some may be so busy seeing the Kingdom of God in a communal way they don’t ever bother looking deeply within and finding it there, too. Without inner experience, we will rely on authority too much and this has led to some negatives who have risen to the tops of authority to abuse their power. This is another way of saying that we must see the Kingdom of God within and heed it’s call to transcend and include the limitations of the exoteric Kingdom).
To summarize, there is good evidence now that Jesus actually said that the Kingdom of God is inside you (http://syrcom.cua.edu/hugoye/Vol12No2/HV12N2Ramelli.pdf). Perhaps now, especially in the West, we are ready to hear this message and explore its possibilities. Ultimately, the destination of both the “among you” and “inside you” stances is the same place. That place is the Heart. And the best way to access the heart is to slowly become single-hearted or single-minded. This means that our actions, words, and meditations are all grounded and pointed in one direction with intention. Do it for Love. When we do all things for Love, we find ourselves transformed upon the very symbol of the Kingdom of God, the Cross. The cross’s horizontal movement represents the Kingdom of God is among you. Its vertical movement is the Kingdom of God is inside you. At that point we already enjoy the Kingdom of God of the eternal Now and we become ushers for the Kingdom of God that is coming, the Earth’s shift into fourth density.