This world we live is what we see. It is the reflection and illusion of our small self.
When you feel good, it looks positive and shining, but so temporary. When you feel depressed, it is almost a place in torture, desperately getting out of it. Whether it is positive or negative, we are in prison of what our false self sees and experiences.
That is why John the Apostle tells us not to love this world.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.1 John 2:15-17
In reality, however, we have to live in this world.
How can we be not of this world, at the same time, in this world? Can we live like angels or the lotus flower? Being in the world, how can their garments and petals never get stained?
Is there anything like them? What or who could be “in this world but not of this world?” Figuratively and perhaps literally, in the light itself, we could see such manifestation.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.John 1:4-5
Realizing the light shining in the darkness, we could see such thing as “in this world but not of this world.” But most of the time we cannot understand it. We are deeply part of this world of darkness; therefore, “the darkness comprehended it not.” We see the shadow of death in this world. It is what our pessimistic false self sees.
That is why Jesus’ first words in His mission were as follows:
The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.Matthew 4:16-17
He was the great light, while people sat in darkness – the region and shadow of death. His light suddenly sprung up. Indeed, this light is “in this world but not of this world,” while He needs to be “lower than the angels” eventually for the Redemption.
As long as we stay in this world, the darkness could never comprehend this light. Like angels’ garments or the lotus petals, we could never understand why and how they never get stained. Only being the light and through the light, we can understand this light.
Jesus tells us:
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!Matthew 6:22-23
Even He tells us we could also be such light.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.Matthew 5:14-15
We are not only those who seek after the light outside. We could be the light inside out when and if we are in this world but not of this word. Perhaps, we could even feel the lightness of the shining white that angels can fly.
We are the children of such light.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)Ephesians 5:8-9
Image by Martin Winkler