The Spirit of Jesus is only influential in the minds
of those influenced by him. In other words, the Holy
Spirit works by consent; works best on those who want it
to work, who seek it, who pray for it, who find it.
I have no doubt, and feel no urgency in writing this, but it is about the “second coming” that I state the above. What good is the appearance of “yet another” physical man if there is not the willingness of hearts to follow, to believe and do good works? And yet, what good is the appearance of “yet another” physical man if the influence of his spirit is already there? His physical presence has never left but it is his spiritual presence to which we must awaken.
It is the work of Time Immemorial – He is but a symbol of the ending times. Most Muslims are aware and educated about the significance of his return, but remain in question as to the means. What better means for a spiritual teacher to return that in the form of a spiritual teaching? Is it impossible for Allah to allow that - to even plan it that way so as to maximize benefit and delivery power of the message?
We are taught of the presence of an infallible spiritual guide. For the Muslims, he lives in or disappeared into a cave, which could be an analogy to being buried deep in our hearts. For Christians, his spirit is what moves us in the direction of truth and goodness. In the Vedas, he is our very true Self, as created in the “image” (with all the attributes) of God Himself. Is it not true that all religions teach the same thing - that our job is to prepare for the second coming of Christ, for the return of the Imam Mahdi, for the Buddha Maitreya, etc? How do we prepare for that if not by admitting his (this “Holy Spirit” thing’s) existence and allowing ourselves to be influenced by it? And what would it teach us if not compassion for all mankind? Is that not the message of Jesus? Are we as Muslims, not commanded to follow those teachings? What does it mean in Qur`an where it is said, “no distinction do We make between any of the messengers”?
Could the teaching and the work be as simple as that of personal salvation and how to obtain it? Would that not bring about all the results, and more quickly, of the spiritual revolution that we all seek? The deprived and materially minded are preyed upon and further victimized by the teaching that the Returner will come with the sword and wreak vengeance upon their enemies for the wrongs they have done them. What about the Sword of Truth? What are the last four letters of the word sWORD? If you cannot hear the truth now, what punishment or forces will be able to “make” you hear it?
To see the world in a whole new way is the message of A Course in Miracles. To know the Reality of God (haqiqat), to know the Reality of your Self (param purush), to be able to discern between what is true and what is illusion, to have wisdom, to have discernment, to have gnosis, to be a Gnostic, to be a Hakim, to have recognition (Ar. Maarifat) to be an `Arif (Gnostic).
So that being accepted (that the “second coming” is of Spirit and the teaching of it is by book) we have left only the question of the Imam. Knowing that he is alive and well and that we can communicate with him in our hearts I ask simply what is our course of action and he continues to emphasize preparedness for the coming event, for the inevitable event, al-Waqi`ah, the awakening from the dream created by the four illusions of earth, world, body and self. Asking the best way to prepare he emphasizes the Unity of Religions, the command of his grandfather to seek knowledge from cradle to grave, even as far as China.