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Ascending
1997 - Carolyn Odom Burleson, Ph.D.

Be not conformed to this world, but
Be Ye Transformed
by the renewing of your mind...
- Romans 12:2

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Be Ye Transformed


"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory."

- Psalm 24

Hills and mountains in the Bible represent a high state of consciousness. When we ascend in our consciousness into the hills of the Lord, we stand in a Holy Place where we commune with the Holy Spirit, the pure essence of God, the living Spirit of truth, the very breath of the Almighty which gives us understanding. It is this Spirit operating in Divine Mind that assigns all existence its unique purpose and function. Everything and everyone that exists, has a divine assignment - a purpose to fulfill which holds a unique place in God's grand scheme.

We are not given to know the entire grand scheme of God. However, spiritual discernment born out in scientific observation allows us to see how the planets are held in their assigned orbit so that they do not collide with one another in space, and how intricately connected and delicately balanced is all of nature on this planet. This observation helps us to realize that there is a Divine Plan in operation even though we cannot comprehend the totality of it.

We are, however, given to know that there is a place especially prepared for each of us as well as a unique function in God's plan that only we can fulfill. Therefore our mission and purpose in life becomes to find our true place in God's kingdom and to perform the function we are divinely assigned.

God has prepared a place for you and me and given us a divine assignment. He has also given us all that is needed to carry it out. A close examination of our particular talents, and the strong inner urges that we get to express them, will lead to the recognition of how God intends to display His Masterpiece in us, through us, as us.  Any path that we may choose which leads away from or does not permit expression of our God given gifts and talents, will not lead to our true place, but rather to frustration, confusion and despair. It is not our path. We must make another choice - a higher choice.

Making a higher choice requires that we understand there is the option of a higher choice. The inner voice of Spirit is always urging us to come up higher, to lift up our eyes unto the hills, from whence comes our help. But somehow we often think that we can and should correct our errors ourselves without listening to our higher mind. So we continue to make different choices, but all based upon erroneous perceptions of the lower sense nature which cannot see beyond the material realm, and therefore only judges by appearances.

The Master Jesus instructs us to look beyond the appearances and judge righteous judgment. To do this requires a transformation in consciousness, a renewing of our minds that breaks through the conformity of this world which keeps us in bondage to the senses. Jesus also taught that in order to express the fruitful, abundant life which God intends for us, we must be willing to die to the limitations of the flesh or material consciousness, and awaken to our Spiritual nature into eternal life.

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
- John 12: 24-25


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The Apostle Paul further expounds upon this idea:

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
- Ephesians 4: 22-24

We see these principles in operation in nature.

An acorn gives the appearance of a seed, but the truth of its being is a mighty oak tree.  However, before the oak tree can express its true self, the lower expression of consciousness must die - i.e. it must utterly relinquish its identification as an acorn and begin to identify with its higher nature that it is destined to express. Then the seed germinates and breaks out of the shell which held it in bondage; for it is transformed by the renewing of its mind (taking on a new and higher consciousness) and grows into a mighty oak.

A caterpillar gives the appearance of a worm of the dust, but the truth of its being is a lovely butterfly. The caterpillar, likewise must utterly relinquish its identification with the lower expression in order to break out of its cocoon. It is transformed into a butterfly by renewing its mind and identifying with its higher nature.

We, likewise, give the appearance of being mere mortals bound by flesh and subject to materiality and fear. Not so! - The truth of our being is pure Spirit; for we are made in the image and after the likeness of God. We were given dominion over materiality, not made subject to it. We were given a Spirit of power and love and soundness of mind, not one of fear.

The difference between humans and the acorn or caterpillar is that we (being made in the image of God) become co-creators. We create the circumstances of our growth process. The acorn and caterpillar gladly and naturally give up their lower expression in favor of the higher expression. But since we humans create our circumstances with our own thought patterns, we then view our world as an extension of ourselves and give our ego reign over it. Our sense of who we are has become distorted and confused with what we have made. We have allowed ourselves, i.e. our identity to so attach itself to the personal ego that we have given away our dominion over materiality and forgotten that we are Spiritual Beings.

Fortunately, God placed the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth within us, and though we have forgotten it - it has not forgotten us. It has not forgotten the special place God has prepared for us. It has not forgotten the special function we each have to perform in order to carry out God's Will.  Holy Spirit within us is constantly urging our remembrance of our true purpose, and so that inner yearning to express our talents never goes away.

Since the personal ego does not, nor cannot know God's Will for us (the natural man cannot discern the ways of Spirit) the ego cannot lead us to fulfillment.  It can never be satisfied - it always wants more and therefore leads to frustrations, confusion and despair.  But when we finally become frustrated, confused and desperate enough, is when we finally lift up our eyes unto the hills and utter those famous words, "I need help!" - The Student is now ready - the teacher now appears.

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It is not God's will for any of His children to perish, and that is why He has given us the Holy Spirit, our comforter, teacher and guide. That is why He gave us the Master Jesus who taught us to go within to the kingdom of God where we can listen to the voice of the Master Within and be guided where to go and what to do.

The Still Small Voice within may speak to us and lead us to pick up a book that helps to make sense of a situation in life. It may lead us to have a conversation with a stranger that may change the whole course of our lives. It may lead us to a seminar, a workshop or even just a social gathering where Truth is spoken and resonates in our Spirit. It may lead us to a church or study group where others of  like mind are gathering seeking to renew their minds and transform their lives as well.

Holy Spirit (our Inner Master) may lead us to a teacher from whom we may be receptive to learn in order to begin our transformation process, but ultimately we must make a conscious choice to relinquish our identification with the ego/sense nature and to identify with the Spirit of God within us. When our minds are renewed, we are transformed into new creatures. This is when we can follow the exhortation to express the mind in us that is also in Christ Jesus. This mind knows that it knows - "I and my Father are One."

It takes but an instant to make the choice to renew our minds and begin the transformation process. It takes but an instant to make the choice to put off the old self so that the new Self who is created to be like God can come forth. However, the renewal process takes some time and diligent effort on our part. As we began the study of  Truth, it heightened our desire to know more and to live our lives in accord with the Truths we were learning. But we found that the old self, the personal ego, was not so easily put off. The ego does not want to relinquish the power we have given it. It does not want to move out of the place of prominence, comfort and ease of expression we have given it.  It does not want to be dethroned, and it will not give up without a fight.  We find that we have quite a struggle on our hands dealing with the old self  while seeking a new identity.

Not withstanding, the people around us who have only known us by the old self (whether they liked it or not) are not so willing to adjust to our renewal process either.  As we seek to find and fill our true place, we shake up the earth around us, and everything seems so unstable.  You see, we are not simply seeking to climb the mountain to higher consciousness; we are seeking to become the mountain of higher consciousness. A mountain becomes a mountain because it has a mountain consciousness. If it were not so it would forever remain as the ocean bed in the depths of darkness. However, because it has a consciousness that calls it to the light, its natural tendency is to rise. It has to move the whole earth in the process of seeking to find and fill its true place, and everything around it for miles and miles must adjust in order to accommodate its upward thrust. And so it does.

When the earth moves, shocks and tremors are felt for days, months, even years afterward. The waters are displaced by its movement, and huge tidal waves inundate the shores. volcanoes are stirred into activity and begin to belch out magnificent displays of fire dancing in the air, while lava flows out and covers anything in its path with hot molten rock and ash.   All of this apparent destruction is nothing more than a simple law of physics in operation.  Two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time.

And so this dance of displacement continues in all of nature as in all of life until each and every one of us has washed our hands, purified our heart and utterly relinquished our identity with the vain and deceitful ego.  Our minds will then have been renewed, and we will have been transformed into a new identity made to be like God, standing in our own true place, fulfilling our divine function.

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.(available on audio tape)

1997 - Carolyn Odom Burleson, Ph.D.


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