Through identifying and connecting with our truth, we return to our Spiritual Home.
Much of our struggle in life stems from an inner desire to know God, and the question often posed, is: “how do we come to know God? Really know God?” Well when we study the Bible seeking the deeper, mystical interpretation, then we notice that the stories, the characters, relate to each one of us.
In the story of the Prodigal Son for example, found in Luke 15:11-32, we are the son who left home, as well as the son who stayed. In brief… we have the younger son, persuading his father to advance him a part of his inheritance in order that he may go out and seek a life of adventure. Well after squandering it all, he found himself in a ‘far country’ degenerate and looking after pigs. Finally, he ‘came to him-self’ and decided to return to his Father’s house.
His Father was overjoyed at his return and there was much celebrating.
Of course, we then come across the resentment from the elder son who had remained loyally working at his Father’s side. According to Henri Nouwen, a spiritual writer of the last part of the twentieth century: “I am the prodigal son every time I search for unconditional love where it cannot be found.” He then elaborates: “Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. It takes very little to raise me up or thrust me down. Often, I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of its waves. All the time and energy I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from being tipped over and drowning shows that my life is mostly a struggle for survival; not a holy struggle, but an anxious struggle resulting from the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me.”
Many people wonder at the role the elder son plays in the story, and it is interesting to note that in a way he is a prodigal son also. His brother was lost in a ‘far country’, but he was lost at home. His Father told him: “Son thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”
As with all the stories in the Bible, the central character is God/Father: the divinity residing within every individual. And Meister Eckhart stated that the prodigal is in the far country but the Father is at home.
The elder son was at home but did not realize he was always in the Presence –as we all are– and that the gifts (“son all that I have is thine”) can only be claimed in consciousness. It is when we remember, (he came to him-self) and awaken to that which is constant spiritually, that we can make a difference and by truly returning home in consciousness, together, we purposefully recognize the universal truth of all, for all. We come back from the ‘far country’ to the central point, or origin of Life—God/Home.
Both sons had to return “home.”
Spiritual understanding comes to all who seek it with earnestness—with all their soul, with all their mind, with all their heart and with all their strength. Spiritual understanding comes to those who give themselves entirely to Spirit, to the inflow of the activity of Di-vine Wisdom and Divine Love. We attain it by turning our thoughts away from the ex-ternal to the truth within us, where the living reality abides. We must know that we are never separated from the Source of our being, and that Spirit within is ever desiring to manifest through us as the fullness of all good.
Helen Zagat—Faith and Works