by Michael Ketterhagen
This is our relationship with God—total, unconditional love. God gives us total freedom to choose our actions, words and thoughts, according to Jeff Olsen’s experience of God in the YouTube video, “A near death experience.”
Is this true? Can this really be true?
Christianity has always taught Christians and Jewish teachers have always taught Jews that we must ask God for forgiveness and mercy, then God will unconditionally forgive us. According to our Judeo-Christian scholars, we can’t just do anything, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and be totally accepted by God—“There is nothing to forgive. Everything is in Divine Order.” Those traditions believe we are sinners and will be judged by God for our actions, words and thoughts. In order to be forgiven, we must always ask for forgiveness.
Some Christian mystics have experienced God’s unconditional love as total acceptance. “All shall be well!” says Julian of Norwich, but she may have been emphasizing this reality to her sisters in the convent because they had committed themselves to always trying to do God’s will.
Yoga’s understanding of the Divine Mother’s love for us expresses also this type of unconditional love. We are totally in the loving embrace of the Divine Mother and we can be aware of those loving arms around us through deep meditative experiences.
We are totally accepted for all we do, think and say because God (whatever name we use for this Ultimate Reality) honors and respects our freedom of choice. This idea is very difficult for us humans to believe because we have been taught to be responsible for our actions, words and thoughts. We believe that we have something to do with our salvation or damnation—even if that something is just deciding to have faith. Most of us believe that we must have some “skin in the game.”
We do, says yoga! We are responsible for our actions, words and thoughts!
Even though we are totally accepted for whatever we do, say or think, there are always consequences that flow from our choices. We are responsible for those consequences all the time. Sometimes we know what those consequences are—like if I eat too much sugar and fatty foods, my health will start to deteriorate, or when I yell at another person angrily, they will feel hurt or angry back. Even so, we will never be cut off from the unconditional love and acceptance of God.
Yoga also adds, as do many of the other mystical traditions in the world and even some major religions, that there is more to life than this one sojourn on Earth. We live after this life in another life, and often that “after-this-life” life is a physical existence. When we enter that next physical (possibly earthly) life, we bring many of the consequences of our actions from our previous lives with us. Yoga and these other traditions call this “reincarnation.”
Because we are totally accepted in whatever form of life we are in, it is, according to yoga, that only in a physical life can we alter the consequences of actions done in a previous physical life.
So, there we have it! Because of God’s unconditional love, we are totally accepted no matter what we choose to do, say or think, whether it is labeled “good or bad.” We don’t want to think that we are loved that much, but God loves God’s creation unconditionally. We are also totally responsible for all of our actions, words and thoughts. We can choose whatever life we want. We have that freedom to make ourselves and the entire creation happy by choosing what is “good” for ourselves and all other life on Earth.
The choice is ours, and “there is nothing to forgive.”