The question today has to do with the contrast between religion and spirituality, seeking from without and seeking from within. We are asking if Q’uo could give us some ideas as to the direction that is appropriate for each person, how each can be helpful, what the hindrances might be for each, and how a person can determine what is right for him or her. And is there really a precise answer or direction for each of us, or is there a certain amount of uncertainty that we need to be able to accept?

(Carla channeling)

We are known to you as those of the Q’uo, and we greet you in the love and in the light of the one infinite Creator, whom we serve. It is a great privilege to join this circle of seeking, and we greet each of you, thanking you for your great thirst for the truth, for all that has brought you to this meeting. It is a very special time for us when we are able to communicate with this group. We welcome each of you. Those in our principle known to you as those of Hatonn and those of Oxal wish especially to greet the one known as Kyra and to greet all of those who are new to this group. For each of you has your unique and beautiful music that you embody in your energy, and we greatly enjoy sharing this meditation with the beautiful harmony that you make together.

We ask one thing before we offer our opinions, which we are glad to share, and that is that each of you use your powers of discrimination, knowing that we are not authorities but, rather, we are as you: seekers after a mystery that recedes before us as we pursue it through density after density and experience after experience. The mystery remains and our thirst for that mystery continues to motivate and inspire us in our seeking and in our service. We want to thank each of you for helping us to perform that service which is simply to share our thoughts with you through this instrument. If any thoughts that we share do not seem right to you, we ask you to leave them behind and move on. For the nature of personal truth is resonant. When something is yours, some truth, some aspect of the truth, some inspiration or thought, it will ring true. It will have a resonance, and those thoughts that do not resonate are simply not a part of your own personal truth at this particular time.

Truth is a very slippery word, and we find that it evolves as we evolve. The principles and ideals remain the same but we ourselves, and you also, are in a constant and unremitting state of evolution. We cannot stop it. We can simply accelerate it or let it proceed at its own pace. Each of you has chosen to attempt to accelerate the pace of your spiritual evolution, and we commend you for that. It is effective. It is working. The problem with it, of course, is that increased rates of change are concomitant with increased rates of discomfort, spiritually and emotionally speaking. Consequently, the more successful that each of you is at seeking the truth, the more likely each of you will be to feel at times that you have lost everything; that you cannot possibly make heads or tails of what the truth might be, and that you might as well give up. We assure you that this is part of the pattern of spiritual evolution. And wherever you are, whatever the lightness or darkness of your own interior heart at this particular time, you are part of a pattern of spiritual lightening that, as you look back on it from hindsight, you will see to have been effectual and inspired.

Your question for beginning this evening is about the contrast between two words that, on the surface of it, mean very much the same thing in your language: religion and spirituality. Religion might also be called the outer path and spirituality might also be called the inner path in order to point up the basic point of tension between these two terms. Your question is most interesting, and we are very glad to spend some time on it. You asked concerning the advantages and disadvantages of each path, and we will talk a bit about each path in those two aspects. In order to orient the discussion, we would take a moment to step back and ask each to come with us. See yourself at this time resting upon your seats, your limbs relaxed and your minds quiet. See the beauty of the evening, the patchwork of snow and earth and tree. And see yourself lifting away from that chair and that close environment of home and friends, and drawing back in space until the Earth becomes smaller and smaller and disappears, and you are one with the stars and space and distance that is the outer appearance of the house of the Creator, the infinite creation of which you are a part. Rest in this larger identity and know that you are loved by the one infinite Creator, that you have been with that Creator since before there was time or space. Without duration. without dimension, you are a citizen of eternity, a being of infinity. In your heart of hearts, in your deepest self, you have no limitations, you have no location, and you have no set personality shell as you now experience these things. Your truth, beyond all telling, lies in this oneness with the one great original Thought that has created each long before there was a planet or dimensionality or sequence.

And if you are all these things, why did you choose to be in such a heavy and deep illusion at this particular moment in eternity? Why did you choose to come into the body of flesh that is heavy and illusory and limiting? Why did you choose to forget that you were a citizen of eternity and instead take flesh and join an incarnation? Each of you has desired greatly, before this incarnation, to partake in this experience at this particular time. Each of you felt that there were things that you wished to learn in this density, in this darkness, and at this time. And above all, each of you was moved to service. Each of you saw before incarnation an incredible opportunity, for truly this is the dawning of what this instrument would call the fourth density. Your planet itself is at this time and space traversing the boundary between what this instrument would call third density and fourth density. You are moving from a density in which the lesson is one of choice into a density where that choice has been made and you then are able to build upon that choice and to learn further lessons of love.

At the dawning of this density of love it is a dark-seeming hour. This instrument has the phrase, “It is always darkest before the dawn.” And we would say that this is indeed the case as regards this particular planetary sphere and its inner planes as well. For there has been a great deal of building up of unbalanced karma, as this instrument would call it, in the interactions betwixt selves in individual lives, in betwixt groups of selves in societal lives, and in betwixt the selves that live upon this sphere, and this sphere itself. And all of these imbalances cry out with the voice of sorrow. There is a tremendous amount of suffering that rises from your planet. At the same time there is a tremendous amount of lightening of this darkness that has begun to occur because more and more entities are awakening to their spiritual identity. And it is for this awakening that you took the tremendous risk of incarnation. Certainly you hoped to enter that process of catalyst and experience that involve so much suffering, for you hoped to learn better and better how best to make the choice of this density for yourself. And it is this choice of polarity, this choice of how to serve and how to be, that riveted your attention before incarnation. For before incarnation, between incarnations, each of you saw the big picture, spiritually. You saw the plan. You saw the opportunities, and you saw, looking deeply within yourself at what you have learned and what you have chosen so far in this density, how to make an even more polarized choice for love. It is this context of how to love, how to open the heart, and how to be upon this Earth in order to increase the light that has riveted your attention and continues to offer you the challenge of the moment, and it offers us this same challenge. However, we are not upon your sphere. We are not in third-density bodies. We do not have the right to bring light into planet Earth. Only those who have paid the price of flesh, who have come into the darkness of the illusion of Earth, have the right to open their hearts and ask to become crystals for transducing light.

Each of you receives an infinite and continuing supply of love and light from the one great original Thought, which is the Creator. This infinite supply streams through the energy system of each of you continually. When a seeker becomes aware that she wishes to live so as to increase love and light upon planet Earth, she then begins to gaze at how to do that, how to be a more clear channel for the love and the light of the one infinite Creator.

The movements of culture upon your planetary sphere work because of the nature of the mind that all of you share. We would call this mind the archetypical or archetypal mind. In these deep roots of consciousness, certain key truths spring up as if from a fountain. And they flow through all of your lives in common. The high principles and spiritual truths that have inspired one have, at their proper season, inspired many. And they come up again and again in each seeker’s life as if living were done in a spiral. Each time that one approaches the same concept again, whether it be an ethical choice or the structure of religious thought or spirituality, it comes into the field of a different person in that you are in unique place in your own time line. You have had perhaps had this lesson before, many, many times, but this time is different. It is always something new that you are looking at when you seem to be receiving an old problem.

In the outer path, the choice of what this instrument would call a mythology or religion has to do with how your particular archetypical mind and its connections to your conscious mind work, because moving into a mythological system is like making an electrical connection. It has to work, or it’s no good. If you plug in an appliance and it is not the right kind of electricity, it will blow the circuit or it simply won’t work. You cannot get power. And so if there is an attempt to follow an outer path and it doesn’t work, this doesn’t mean that the electrical system doesn’t work for someone who is hooked up right. It just means that you are not of the sort of hookup that is going to plug into this particular structure of ways to think about the archetypes or the archetypical mind. Again, there is the concept of resonance. This instrument was talking earlier about the comfort that she receives from the old words that have been the same, for the most part, since this instrument was a child. This instrument carefully organized itself before incarnation to give itself every opportunity to reconnect with this particular mythological system called Christianity and with the entity known as Jesus the Christ. It was a choice made before incarnation. There were gifts placed in the personality shell of this instrument in order to make the hookup work. For many others this particular Christian myth or religion is an outer path that has a tremendous amount of power available. And we would suggest that this is the way that you look at the search for a religion, a mythology, or an outer system. Realize that it is a spiritual aid of tremendous power that is available in many, many different configurations, even within the Christian religion, and certainly within the family of religions, philosophies, and myths, enough differentiation and variety so that anyone seeking with enough patience can find resonant religions, resonant myths or philosophies from which at least to gather some gifts and resources and assets that can be used on the spiritual path.

The glory of any outer path is also its limitation. The glory of power is also the limitation of power. The glory of depending upon that which is outside of one is also the limitation of that which is outside of one. For many, many entities the great limitation of the path of outer religion is that it seems to demand a surrender. This instrument has not found that surrender to be necessary. However, it was born into one of the less radical or dogmatic sects of the particular religion called Christianity. We do not find any criticism of the desire to seek via the outer path. And may we point out that each of you to some extent in coming to this particular meeting at this particular time is accepting a certain degree of outerness to the path, for there must be some agreement in every group before there is a spiritual community. And as each of you came through the door this evening, including this instrument and the one known as Jim, there was a shift of universes, and it is powerful to shift universes. It is powerful to set time aside, to join a group of people of whom you wish nothing except to learn more about how to love each other and how to love the one infinite Creator.

May we say that whatever the spiritual group, it is blessed, and it has a tremendous company of angelic and inner planes entities which move to support each of you, to support the group, to support us, and to support the construct that is this particular channel that we use to speak through this instrument. All of these activities are part of the positive nature of that outer path that brings people together in devotion and in service. Many are the hard lessons learned beginning with any spiritual group, but also many are the blessings that come from the interaction that comes from those who seek and that chemistry that exists when the universe has shifted and you have moved into the acknowledged desire to seek.

The inner path is often seen as a rejection of the outer path. Spirituality can be seen, and has been seen by many, as what remains after religion is rejected. We would only suggest in this wise that it is helpful to look at the structures of outer paths as what they are: buildings for the seeking spirit, places to sit and look in a certain way at a certain pattern of concepts. Any myth that is so constructed that you begin to see a way to live a life in faith is a good match for you. And if you do not find such a match, then it is that you must turn within and leave the outer world behind, for at that level you are not finding resonance. The peace and the power of the devotional or spiritual path lies not in how happy it makes one, although it often makes one happy. Rather it lies in the satisfaction of another kind of surrender, this time an inner surrender, a surrender to the Creator within.

You have just passed through that season known to you as Christmas and we would suggest to you that each of you has moved through this Christmas season welcoming not only Jesus the Christ but also that Christ consciousness within yourself that yearns to be born and to be nurtured and to grow and mature. Each of you has within your heart a manger in which lies your own spiritual being, and it is a young being in need of protection, in need of encouragement, and in need of love. Any time that you can spend within your mind and within your heart acknowledging this child that is truly the heart of yourself is worthwhile. Time spent in the heart rocking this cradle is worthwhile. Coming into the heart and seeing the self as a spiritual being of which the fleshly being is a kind of parent we feel is worthwhile.

It would seem that the spirit could reach down and grab the soul from within you and bring it to a better place. And yet we say to you that many times that this is not the way that spirit works. For every time that there is a sudden and dramatic change in the outer picture, there are ten and twenty times when the lesson has to do with limitation, patience, and faith. This instrument said earlier that faith is not faith in anything. Faith is the trust, without any proof or supporting evidence, that all is well and that all will be well. And this is the surrender that is demanded on the inner path. It is faith stripped of dogma. It is faith not in, but simple faith. It is that faith that leads one to leap into mid-air as the Fool, not seeing the safety net, not seeing the next step, not knowing the answers, and yet being willing to act as if all were well by faith. It is a frightening concept when thought about without the activity of the self as a living being. And if thought about it will often bring that living self to a state of paralysis.

The great virtue of the inner path is that it is unshakably yours. There are no words from without that can dismay the one who is upon the inner path. There is no discouragement that is effective. For there is no point of dogma which another can use to bring to the mind confusion and despair. There is no cleverness to the inner path. There is no pretext and there is no knowledge. There may be many wisdoms that come to one and are useful at the moment they come, but the basic tenet of the inner path is simple faith. The great disadvantage of the inner path is that all connections with others shall be fortuitous and synchronistic and cannot be planned aforetimes. Instead of visualizing the spiritual journey as a physical journey to a physical place with a certain group of people who are fellow travelers with whom you shall find the truth you are operating at another level of being where each is alone. For some this is so inevitable that it feels comfortable. It feels like the right place to be. It feels like the only place to be. For others it is a tremendously arid and desert-like experience, that experience of being in the mid-air of simply faith.

We would not offer one path as superior to the other. In fact we imagined that for most entities over a lifetime of seeking there will be dipping into both aspects of spirituality: the outer and the inner. There will be a mixture of finding outer concepts and structures of thought with which to resonate, and of finding surrender to simple faith the only real answer in a specific situation. Realize, if you can, at each time that you find yourself getting into the tangle of intellectual thought, that all words and all structures of thought partake deeply of the illusion which you experience as your separateness. We communicate with this instrument in clusters of concept that this instrument is often heard despairing of being able to translate. There is, in such a cluster of concepts, a whole world of assumption and structured thought that precedes the necessity to translate it into the structures of words, sentences, and thought concepts. It is difficult to explain the stepped down nature of language and thought as opposed to the unified power of concept. We shall simply say is part of the illusion that you have embraced for a reason.

Be aware that no structure of thought will ever hold you completely. Only the emotions that you produce in your work with these structures of thought have a value in your own alchemical process of growth into the light and the love of the one infinite Creator. Trust those times when you do resonate. Trust those moments when your heart soars, and for a moment the limitations drop away and you are in the light, and you see the plan, and you know that all is well. Trust the bare memory of those times and always come back to the heart. Whether it be in spiritual groups or in working on your own, always we would suggest the great virtue of coming back to the heart. When we say this we are really describing in the heart a kind of structure like a church which we might call the holy of holies, for it is in this particular part of the energy system of your body that the connections are rooted that move into the infinite Creator, into guidance, into inspiration, into the ability to surrender.

The one known as Joyce asked if perhaps we were attempting to become too precise if we attempt to define the path for each person, and we would agree that indeed it is not a precise science to steer the boat on an ocean where there are no landmarks, no directions, and no sextant. The guidance in this three-dimensional ocean that is the spiritual search is an impelling from within. And at times it may feel that you are being kicked about the universe by a Creator who has a wry sense of humor. And yet we ask you to move back into the heart when you are discouraged, to sit in the silence of that holy of holies, and to become aware of the presence of the one infinite Creator. For when you enter your heart, the Creator is already there. It is you who have been away. You have forgotten to turn the key of silence and surrender. We always suggest, whatever your path, that silence is a powerful helper. As long as the intellect and the busy mind are engaged it will be correspondingly difficult to enter that portion of yourself that is sacred, not only because everything is sacred but also, relative to the outer life, there is that most inner self which is a spark, unadulterated and pure, of that one great Logos that is love.

We would at this time continue this transmission through the one known as Jim. We thank this instrument and would leave it at this time. We are known to you as Q’uo.

[Side one of tape ends. The second side did not record.]