"Love is perfect because it exists above duality."
This is definitely going to be a multi-part post, because this topic is fairly large and touches on many of the things that I have posted about previously. In a way, I feel that my approach to the "mystery" that ties together various religions does also tie together many ideas I have put forth in my writings (although based off of and inspired by many spiritual teachers). That is my draw to writing about spirituality in the first place; it is writing about the ideal. We can never fully express an ideal, because it is ineffable. But we can approach it from various angles. Each approach offers a glimpse of the ideal for a brief moment. And it is the assimilation of these glimpses that begins to paint a vignette of the ideal that helps solidify our faith.
I cannot help but notice that religions all can be expressed in terms of us being reunited with God or the Ideal. The ideal is a state of perfection, that I simplify as a state of love. However, the idea of God is esoteric at best and it is difficult for us to conceptualize this Deity. We may lack the motivation for performing certain acts now for a future payoff. All of these things: God, heaven and other spiritual concepts have a vaporous quality to them because it is difficult to imagine them (or how they apply) in the here and now.
With a slight tweak to religion, however, we can experience a paradigm shift where spiritual teachings take on a whole new meaning. Since we are waves on the ocean of God, we are also a part of God. I invite you to look at a return to God as a return to your whole Self. Looked at in this context, things start to make more sense for me. And this is not to devalue religion at all but simply to offer another view of it.
If pursuing God is also pursuing a whole, complete me, then what do I have to lose? I am actually investing in myself through pursuing God as I am really pursuing my Self. This also brings up a paradox, which I do believe is the unseen's main device for spiritual truth. All of nature is an outward manifestation of our inward reality. When spiritual teachers say "the kingdom of heaven is inside you", they really do mean that the entire cosmos is also in your Spirit. Our human bodies are containers for a limitless space that exists within. The physical world is a model of what lies within us. So, yes, countless galaxies, solar systems, stars, planets and suns exist within us. In fact, our soul spans infinite depths.
That is also why I believe that the entire spiritual world also exists within our Spirit. God and the angels reside within us as well as demons. However, this is to realize that angels and demons are not the same. There is no opposite for God and no opposite for love and, therefor, no opposite for angels either. Any dark force is actually tied to the temporal existence of this world and exists on a different, lower plane than ultimate truth and love, which is the highest plane. This is also why, if you stay in the present moment and embody love, that we do not have to fear anything. I have gone into this previously a bit but will touch on my belief that the shadow that exists in individual and collective unconscious is the psychological component of dark forces.
This next idea opens up pandora's box because it is paradoxical in its very nature, but, if we choose to look at things from one plane alone, that is the physical plane, religious ideas can be theorized about in the following manner. This is also a nice exercise to do when you are reading any religious writing. Read it from the perspective that God is your Higher Self. In other words, God is a restored, whole You that lies within the perfection of love. You see, love does not reside in the intellect where we can say this is wrong or this is right but is seated in the emotions and extends into the spiritual realm. That is the perfection that we are talking about. Love is perfect because it exists above duality. Read anything that talks about dark forces or spirits from the perspective that these lie in your shadow.
If we continue with this idea, angels, then, also reside within you as different parts of your personality, different loving qualities that offer guidance to you. This theory begins to break down a bit when we get to shared spiritual experiences, where spirits are manifest for many people. I believe this is because the spirits come through our senses, in other words, manipulate our senses so that we can perceive them even in a group setting. So, belief is absolutely necessary when talking about the spirit world. If you do not believe, you block even your perception of such things. The paradox of this is I do think there is some cross-over where physical reality is changed through a spiritual dimension but that does not change the core of this idea much.
There are many more implications of looking at spiritual matters through this lens, which is the physical manifestation of these realities through humans. To summarize, there is much value in considering restoring our full humanity as achieving unity with God. This makes spiritual matters practical. This is not the only plane on which we can consider truth, but a valuable one and one that is often suppressed because it is considered "heretical" by some religions.