Holy Water

The idea of “holy water” is not exclusively Catholic or even Christian. In Hinduism, the Ganges is one of seven rivers considered to be holy, and each day thousands of worshippers bathe in it as an act of spiritual cleansing. The mosques of islam often have a central fountain, symbolizing spiritual purity, and Muslims are required to perform various ablutions before approaching Allah in prayer. In Judaism, ritual washing dates back as far as the Torah, and the parting of the Red Sea as recounted in Exodus is perhaps the most dramatic symbol for the intervening power of the Creator to “open a way when there is no way.” Buddhism uses water during funereal services to make offerings to the departed.

Now, looking beyond the context of ritual: Water represents consciousness, an archetypal association that shows up even in our everyday language, where we naturally talk about stream of consciousness, fathoming ideas, a flood of feeling, and so on. Perhaps the best known religious ritual that makes use of water is baptism, during which the one being baptized is given a spiritual name. Similar rites occur in Hinduism, Judaism, and other religions. Now, to name a thing, spiritually speaking, is to identify its nature, to know it, to understand it. Metaphysically, a name is more than just a label; it expresses the very essence of the thing named. Field theory regards all religion as ultimately describing spiritual rather than historical truths, as maps of consciousness that provide directions for living well here and now. In this sense, baptism and its equivalents are not the prerogative of priests and other clergy; it is a feature of consciousness, something we all not only can do, but already do all the time—that is, we name things, perhaps unwittingly but nonetheless, through our understanding of their nature. As creators made in the image of the Creator (Particles holographically embodying the oceanic Consciousness we call the “Field”), we can name things wittingly. This means we can enter into a deliberately chosen consciousness about their nature. In practice, this shows up as an alternative to reacting to things (which really is, of course, reacting to our unwitting names for them).

A most extraordinary direction for practice in Field theory involves naming everything “good.” Paradoxically, what we used to name as evil is no longer recognized, and this is something that the ordinary Particle consciousness cannot comprehend, arguing first that good implies evil, and further, that ignoring evil amounts to sticking one’s head in the sand. The practice of baptizing everything as “good” is, however, heroic, beautiful, and as with all namings, self-fulfilling. It requires a willingness to believe that Goodness is the true name (nature) of things and an unwillingness to believe otherwise. Thus, anything that appears to contradict the Good is viewed as a hidden unfolding of the Good, and never a conclusion against it—a vision that has been described as “seeing God [the Good] in all things.” Field practice begins with naming oneself in alignment with whatever is desired, and continues through the naming of things as expressions of the Good. This informs the flow of events through the mysterious, nonlocal efficiency of the principle of correspondence.

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