Opening to Your Spiritual Guides
At the Transfiguration, Jesus invited his WeSpace
group to a conversation with two of his spiritual guides
Ten of us were having a lovely conversation after dinner with well-known, brilliant Christian teacher and author. We were sharing childhood stories and she said she had a make-believe friend that was her closest companion in her early years. His name was Luke and she pretended he was Luke, the Gospel writer. I asked her why and she said because he said that was who he was. My ears and heart perked up. I said, “What if you dropped the “make-believe” and “pretended” and considered that he really was that Luke? What if he was one of your spiritual guides? You certainly followed in his footsteps as a teacher and author!” There was silence around the table as everyone waited for her response—and probably a little shocked at my audacity to suggest such a far-out thing to this famous person. She smiled, and I don’t know if she ever pursued it. It is certainly not the norm in her academic setting that anyone would consider such a thing.
Would you consider such a thing? Jesus obviously did since we have one detailed example in the center of three of the Gospels. He had a conversation with two of his spiritual guides, Elijah and Moses. (Matt. 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36).
If you share with other Christians any of what I am writing about here or your own interest in spiritual guides, you will get a variety of responses. The traditionalist will trot out the usual scare passages from the Old Testament. The modernist will view this supernatural event with skepticism and just think you’re delusional. The postmodernist might just see this as a powerful story from which you draw symbolic meaning, but maybe not for them.
From an Integral perspective, we can be awake to the spiritual realities that are trans-rational, beyond the confining materialist or magical perspectives. In Jesus’ time, and many centuries before and after, have been filled with spiritual guides, often called “angels” which simply is the word “messenger” in Greek and has nothing to do with having wings.
People all over the world have experiences with these spiritual presences, but particularly if they are open and available to them. If the mind has closed off the spirit in skepticism or fear, they’re much harder to sense. With more practice and cultivated awareness, they become more noticeable.
I often sense the presence of spiritual guides when I am looking at other people, such as in our WeSpace meetings on the internet. This comes from learning how to connect with my own guides.
My first guide beyond Jesus
For years I got a weekly massage from a woman who also did energy healing work. She had guides and I was intrigued when she occasionally talked about them. One day, in the middle of my left arm time during a massage session, I asked her, “How would I find out if I had any guides besides Jesus?” She said, “Ask them!” I tried to dismiss the obvious implication of that suggestion and instead asked, “How does that work? Give me a starting place.” She said, “Who have you been drawn to as you read and study the Bible. I immediately said the Apostle John.
She said, “Well ask him if he would be a guide for you.” This was getting more than my intellectually overgrown mind could take, so I said, “Okay, I will try that out tonight.” She said, “Why not try it out now?” Oh my, I was caught! I knew I had to be sincere or she would intuit it in a second, so I summoned up my courage, and said, “John, would you be my spiritual guide?” I immediately “heard,” in my head but not audibly, the words, “I’ve been waiting for you to ask me.”
I immediately burst into tears, unusual for the emotionally out of touch, reserved me. I said to him, “I didn’t think you would have time. You must be busy.” His reply was, “Come on, you know the time-space stuff does not apply in my world, only yours.” So began a long, liberating relationship of many years with John. I wrote down what we talked about for several years. Now I mostly enjoy his loving presence and his hand on my right shoulder with occasional brief conversations.
Start with Jesus
One does not “figure out” or “make up” a guide. It helps to be around Christians and others who regularly connect with their own guides. This can happen in our WeSpace groups. Luke and I often see others’ guides in a group when we meet with the group for the first few times. We point them out so the group can get used to the presence of non-physical spiritual entities. A Christian’s primary spiritual guide is Jesus. He is the most easily accessed guide in the Christian world because he has been connected with so many times, beginning 2000 years ago after the resurrection and constantly down throughout history to today. The pathway to him is wide open. I suggest you begin with him.
If you have had such an abusive background in the Christian tradition or with male figures that you cannot yet consider this, then you might begin with Mary. Her pathway is also wide open, with her many appearances and millions of prayers to her. Or choose another saintly guide you feel drawn to who has a tradition of loving care.
Opening up to the friendship of the presence of the Living Jesus is incredible. Jesus is not picky about what you believe about him or God. He comes to angry fundamentalists, traditional evangelicals, evolving postmoderns, believers, doubters, sinners, saints – absolutely anybody.
I will admit that atheists and Christians in the modern/postmodern deconstructed stage have a more difficult time. They may be intellectually hardened to the mystical and have dismissed the reality of non-physical spiritual beings, including Jesus. Or they may not accept an intimate, 2nd-person face of God, feeling all they have left is the cosmic, the impersonal.
So, I’d like to just offer an experiment. In a still, quiet moment, allow yourself to move into your heart. Let yourself ask, “If you are there Jesus, let me sense your presence.” Honest seekers who will allow themselves to go into their heart space with that request are often blown away by what they discover.
What do you discover?