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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH ZEN TAO

Q:  I would like to ask what is the specific challenge that is facing Humanity at this time, because throughout the Ages Humanity has had to face many different challenges.  Is there anything special about this time?

ZT:  The challenges which faces Humanity at this time are the same ones that have been facing Humanity throughout its long existence, namely, whether to live its life according to Godís Will or to human will, whether to create in the Divine image or in the human image.  Humanity has to discover for itself whether there is indeed a Divine Energy, a Force which you call God, a Force which creates, sustains and destroys all things, or whether Humanity is the master of its world, the creator and controller of its destiny.  Humanity has to discover whether it is easier to align itself with this Force and to flow with It or whether it is easier to ignore this Force and to create according to its desires and needs.   Humanity has to discover whether it wishes to live in a God-centred world or a self-centred world, whether it wishes to worship God or Mammon. 

In essence Humanity has to discover whether it sees itself as a mortal or an immortal being, whether it leads just one short life or many lives, whether life should be devoted to the pursuit of pleasure or to the pursuit of spiritual knowledge.  How you view life will to no small extent influence how you lead your life.  If you believe that you are a mortal being, with only a short finite life of, barring accidents, three score years and ten, then the pursuit of personal happiness becomes the deciding factor in your life.  If you believe that you will never again return to this planet, if what you create or leave behind is of no importance, then you will most probably lead a selfish and self-centred life. People and relationships will be simply viewed as ships that pass in the night and considered to be of very little consequence.  However, if you have evolved to the point of  spiritual understanding when you realise that all is One, that as you sow, so shall you reap, that the world which you are now creating in thought, word and deed is the world into which you will have to reincarnate in another life, that the children which you are now parenting will bring forth future generations of Humanity into which you will one day reincarnate, then you will have realised that the lesson of this planet is sacrificial service through the power of love.  Humanity is born to serve, is born to express love, not romantic or sexual love but divine love.  Finally, you will have realised that all sacrifices are, in reality, simply sacrifices to yourself, for not only is all Humanity One Race under the One God, it is part of the One God.   Every loving act that you perform, every small sacrifice that you make, uplifts not just you but the whole Human Race

Q:  Isnít that form of thinking rather self-centred as well, that what I do will in the end help or better myself?

ZT:  It is self evident that I am expressing a point of consciousness that is separate from God, just as you are separate from God, and in that sense my understanding could therefore be considered as self-centred.  However, in this exchange, I am simply trying to point out that Humanity, not God, is the cause of all the suffering in the world and that the root cause of all suffering is separation from God.  If you create divinely, then you will inherit divine creations.  If you create undivinely, then you will inherit undivine creations.  That which you sow affects not just your children but your childrenís children as well.  To put this in more simplistic terms, if you pollute the environment of the Earth on which you are living, it is self-evident that the generations of Humanity that come after you will have to live in that polluted environment.   No Man is an island.  No Man can live in isolation.  You cannot live for the moment at the expense of the future.  All is One.  Everything is interconnected.   You today are enjoying the hard work and the sacrifices of past generations.  What will you leave for future generations, and please remember that you will be those future generations.  As you give in thought, word and deed, so you will receive.  That is the Law of the Cosmos.  It applies to every atom of creation.   The more you give to the Source, the more the Source will give back  to you.

Q:   I hear what you are saying and I do not disagree with you.  However Humanity didnít create the Zodiacal Signs and their influences.  They were created by God and Humanity just has to endure them, does it not?

ZT:  Humanity is only subject to such influences for as long as it believes that it is separate from the Godhead.   A being that is one with God is no longer under the influence of the Zodiacal Signs or the Law of Karma, for that matter.  But, yes, I take your point, there are influences that are beyond the control of Humanity.  If I may use the analogy of the stage on which a play is enacted, the Zodiac is just one of several Cosmic Forces which sets the stage on which Humanity, the actors, will act.  The stage is appropriate for the cosmic drama that the Lord of Creation wants to enact.  He is the Creator, the Director, of the play.   So Humanity enters onto the stage that the Lord has created and plays out its role.  The drama is set.  All that Humanity can do is to act on that set.  The Zodiacal Age determines the nature of the set, so to speak.  But remember that the human soul is still supreme.  The Zodiac does not compel, it simply impels.  The eternal you can rise above everything, every test, every challenge, that the drama puts before you.

Q:  You use the analogy of actors on a stage, and maybe we all do have set roles to play, but it seems to me that some people in the world today, namely those with political power, those with a lot of money, exert an undue influence on many facets of human existence.   How can we compete with that power, how can we bring about change in the world?  I feel so powerless.

ZT:  To answer your question we must first look at the nature of power.  There are two sorts of power, which I will call material and spiritual power.  Obviously kings and queens, politicians and wealthy people etc., do exert an influence in the world for they are the wielders of material power.  However I would ask you to remember that material or earthly power, the exercise of political power and financial wealth, are simply tests that the individuals concerned have taken on to further their spiritual evolution.  They are just the clothes that they have put on for this life.  Be aware that you can be a king in one life and a slave in the next, a millionaire in one life and a beggar in the next.  I can tell you, however, that an incarnation in which you have great material power is not an easy one to handle unless you are a God-centred being.  It is fraught with temptations and tests, because the exercise of that power touches the lives of many people, and so the opportunities for creating negative karma are manifold.   Be aware, though, that all forms of material power are illusory.  They can be very short lived and they certainly only exist for a lifetime.  As the saying goes ďYou cannot take them with you when you die.Ē  Moreover, history shows that a politician can be thrown out of office and a wealthy man can lose all of his money.  Furthermore, the so-called powerful can only exercise that power if people respect that power and deem it to be a just and necessary power.  History reveals how rich and powerful leaders have been overthrown by poor but idealistic men who were promoting an idea whose time had come.  So material power is simply a lesson and it can only be of genuine influence in the physical world if people accept its authority.

Spiritual power, on the other hand, is eternal.  Once you have gained that spiritual consciousness, and the power that flows from it, it will be yours for eternity.  Spiritual power controls all physical matter.  You are no doubt aware of the holy men of India who can manipulate physical matter in ways that science cannot even begin to understand.  How does science explain the power of a being who is capable of manifesting any physical object that he desires, who can create a meal with the wave of his hand, who can bilocate?   So it is spiritual power that truly controls life on the Earth, although its influence is often subtle and unobtrusive.  It is spiritual power that makes the World go around, that truly controls the destiny of the World.  What you call good luck or coincidence is simply spiritual power at work.  Let me give you an example to help you to understand the point that I am making.

The Master Jesus was arrested and tried by the Council of the Sanhedrin on trumped up charges of blasphemy and sedition.   Concerned by Jesusí perceived threat to their authority and power they took action against him and had him condemned to death.  In this way they thought they could remove the threat that he posed and that their lives would return to Ďnormalí.  History, in the form of the spread of Christianity, has proved them to be very wrong.  But the point that I want to make is that it seemed, on one level, that the Sanhedrin had the greater power and could do this, that they could arrest and convict an innocent man for unjust motives.  They, of course, would have justified his death by saying that it was quite acceptable for one man to die, even if it was unjust, provided that his death saved the spiritual faith of a nation.  But their power was illusory.  Why?  Because at any time the Master Jesus could have avoided his arrest, trial and crucifixion, should he have so desired.  He had the power to do this.  Instead, he allowed his persecutors to triumph and to think that they had won, that their spiritual understandings had triumphed.  Why would he do this?  Because he believed that he was fulfilling the will of his Creator through his sacrifice, even if he could not see where that sacrifice would lead.  He followed and trusted his inner guidance. Always he thought ďNot my will, but Godís will, not what I want but what my Father in Heaven wants.Ē  True power is the power of the Divine manifesting through a human instrument.  It is a power which you all have.

 So never think or believe that you are powerless.   You have all the power of the Divine flowing through you, because you are divine.  You can do whatever you want to do, provided, of course, you believe that you can do it.  Above all, remember that Truth will always triumph in the end, for Truth is God.  Love will always triumph in the end, because Love is God.  The forces of darkness may appear to triumph in the short term, but their triumph is illusory.  History continually reveals how one so-called insignificant person can bring about great changes in the world.  This is certainly true of all the great spiritual teachers.  Very few of them came from rich and powerful families.  Very few of them were born into or lived a life of power and wealth, or if they did, then they soon rejected it.  You are powerless only if you choose to be so.  God is all powerful and you were created in Godís image, an actual part of God dwells within you, so why should you not be all powerful too?  Do not be human and mortal, be divine and immortal!

Q:  But why are people like Hitler allowed such great power when they can bring about so much suffering in the world, like the Holocaust?  Is it Godís will that all that suffering should take place, or could it have been avoided? 

ZT:   As  gods in the making you are all given divine powers.  It is up to you as to how you use them.  You can use them in three ways: positively, negatively and divinely.  Positive and negative are both human judgements, because you are using these powers according to what you believe to be positive or negative.  For example, the Germans might think that Hitler was acting positively because he was trying to make Germany into a world power again, whilst the Allies might think that he was acting negatively because he was a threat to the peace of their world.  But if you act divinely, that is to say, that you allow the Force of God in motion to flow through you and allow Godís Will to be done by you, then only right action can happen.  Not my will, but Thy Will be done O Lord.  Remember the actions of the Master Jesus at his  trial.  It implies surrendering to God before you commit any action.  It implies thinking of God before you commit any action.  It implies attuning to God before you commit any action.  It implies a close communion with God.   How many of you can say that you have achieved that elevated state of being?

So  I again return to the analogy of the drama.  God is the author and the director of the drama of life.  Nothing takes place on the plane of Earth unless He wills it.  Hitler was simply playing a role in that drama, albeit a major role, and he was an evolved soul.  Does that surprise you?  Judas, who betrayed the Master Jesus, was an evolved soul too.  Does that surprise you?  Do not confuse the actor with the role that they are playing.  The very nature of a drama, as any good playwright will tell you, demands a conflict between good and evil, between perceived right and perceived wrong, so that both physical and spiritual lessons can be learned from the conflict.  The author is inviting you to judge and to take sides, to identify with one or other of the characters in the drama.  Remember that it is the events in your life that produce momentary conflict in your mind which lead to spiritual growth and evolution.  A little conflict is good for the soul.  

Now that may seem a very impersonal point of view and so I will attempt to bring it closer to home.  You are all born with predetermined roles to play in the great drama of life yet, throughout your lives, before you commit any act you have a moment of choice as to whether or not to commit that act.  You can choose to act from what I will call your God centre or your ego centre, which is the human conditioning of race, culture and creed and your human experiences in this life.  Only a person who has sought and practised this constant contact with the God in them will be in a position to do this.  Most of you just react from your ego centre and it is on this basis that it is possible to foretell your future.  It is predictable that certain acts will lead to certain results.  So, taking an extreme case, before you kill someone you have a split second in earthly time, which is an eternity in cosmic time, to choose whether to proceed with the killing.  Your ego centre will automatically produce all the ego-centred reasons as to why you should kill that person.  Your God centre will, however, almost certainly give you an entirely different perspective.  Then it is up to you to choose how you will act.   

Q:  This is the beginning of the Year of Peace and everybody is busy having conferences and talks and lectures all over the world on peace and how to achieve it.   How do you put together peace and power?

ZT:  In the world in which you live today it is the people of material power rather than spiritual power who are trying to establish peace in the world.  That is why there is no peace.  Too many ego centres are involved and not enough divine centres!   A person of power today is very often not a person of spiritual power, an evolved soul.  He or she is a person who has material power, a person who controls armies, industries, banks etc. and who has vested interests at heart.  Their authority comes from their perceived status in human society and only rarely from their divine power.   As such, that authority is an illusion and only lasts for as long as people choose to accept that authority.   For example, the British could rule India for as long as the Indians accepted British rule.  Once that concept was challenged and no longer accepted, then, the walk to independence and the creation of their own rule began.

Real peace comes from within, not from without.  There will only be peace in the world when Humanity realises that all are part of the One God.   Peace comes from knowing that you were created in the image of God.  You have all the qualities of the Divine within you.  It is that knowledge that will lead to peace and when you have established peace within your self, then peace within the home will surely follow, and when you have established peace within the home, then peace within the country will surely follow, and when you have established peace within the country, then peace within the World will surely follow.  It is as simple as that.  Peace begins with you.   It is your relationship with God that is the important factor.  When you are as one with God, then you will be as one with all of His creations.  When you have a correct relationship with your God centre, then you will automatically reflect God qualities.  True peace is not the absence of war.  It is union with God and the power that is inherent in that relationship.   Where the peace movement goes wrong today is in trying to obtain peace through material power as opposed to spiritual power, is in trying to use the power of peace to oppose the power of war and, as such, it will never succeed.

Q:   So what should the peace movement do?

ZT:   It should promote peace within the individual, it should encourage people to look for the peace in themselves, rather than to bargain for peace with others.  If you believe that peace will come with the abolition of nuclear weapons, you are sadly mistaken.  Would Humanity become any less war like just because nuclear weapons had been abolished?  Would there be no more wars if there were no more weapons?  If a great inter-planetary Master came down to Earth today and neutralised all weapons of war at a stroke, what would Humanity then do?  It would immediately try to create weapons which could not be neutralised by that Master!  So be aware that it is the belief that you and your so-called enemy are separate and competing beings that leads to war.  You can only hate someone when you believe that you are separate from them.  If you truly love someone, then, there is no separation.  Love alone will silence the weapons of mass destruction.  Love alone will unite warring factions.  Love alone forgives and forgets.  If you did but recognise it, love is the salvation of the Human Race.  Love is the only salvation for the Human Race.