Beyond Imagination

What is the best thing that you can imagine? What do you picture when you try to imagine paradise? Palm trees, beautiful water, lush landscapes, tropical birds, peace and harmony everywhere? Sounds a little bit like Hawaii! When I try to imagine something spectacular, the best I can come up with is very similar to what I have seen or experienced. I have a hard time coming up with anything different.

Do you imagine an outer paradise or an inner paradise? We usually picture an environment external to ourselves. What if you imagine an internal paradise—what would that look like? Peace, happiness, joy, harmony, and love? That creates an entirely different imagery. Ironically, it is those very qualities that we associate with the external landscape of a tropical paradise—those inner qualities of peace, joy, and happiness that create a longing in us to be in an external paradise.

We often come to the false conclusion that the external environment creates the internal environment. If I am in paradise, I reason, then I will experience peace, joy, and happiness. Unfortunately, we often learn the expensive way, that unless those qualities are in our hearts already, a beautiful environment will not bring them forth. “Where ever you go…there you are”.

There is a beautiful statement by the Apostle Paul that describes the key to obtaining an inner paradise. It is a powerful description of not only the key to an inner paradise but holds hints that there is more available to us than we could ever begin to imagine. Paul states, “I pray that from his glorious unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:16-20

Creating a beautiful life always begins on the inside. When we look outside of ourselves for happiness and fulfillment, we will always be disappointed. The great Gnostic principle available to all is the concept of the indwelling Christ. It is available to all who desire it. All it requires is to extend an invitation to the Spirit to dwell within you.

Paul uses the analogy of a growing plant, speaking of our experience with Christ as one that has roots that grow down deep into the Love of God. In order for a plant to flourish, it is tended, planted well, watered, fertilized, and cared for. Our spiritual lives, when given the same nurturing qualities as a plant, will grow roots that extend deeply. The fruit that we experience are the fruits that we desire from a tropical paradise, joy, peace, happiness, and love.

The benefits on the path of gnosis are far beyond what you could ever imagine or think possible. Paul, a Gnostic Apostle of Christ, says that they are infinitely more than we could ever ask or think. They are beyond paradise. The Kingdom of Love—God’s kingdom—is a paradise more amazing than we can ever imagine and it is promised to us if we want it. It is a kingdom that is available to us on this earth. Paul tells us that Christ lives in us and that his love is beyond fathoming.

Don’t make the mistake that we so often do to think that paradise begins in the hereafter or the sweet by and by. It is available now. The invitation is always open and all it requires is a committed response to follow the path of an inner knowing of God. Spirit stands at the door and knocks, inviting us to a paradise greater than anything we could ever imagine. What are you waiting for—let’s go!