"Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." (John 16:6-7)

Jesus says this after he tells his close disciples in this conversation after the 'last supper' that:
"Now I am going to Him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?'" (John 16:5)
So we know that what is giving grief to Jesus' disciples is his announcement that he will be leaving them. As explained with this statement, Jesus is clearly stating that he will be returning to the spiritual realm to be with the Supreme Being. This, as mentioned, is confirmed with various other statements regarding who sent Jesus, such as:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)
"I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me." (John 8:18)
"If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but He sent me." (John 8:42)
"For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it." (John 12:49)
These and numerous other statements by Jesus clarify his position and relationship with the Supreme Being. Jesus clearly is not the Supreme Being as professed by so many ecclesiastical sectarian teachers. Rather, Jesus is saying he is sent by the Supreme Being. That makes Jesus God's messenger, by his own admission. Jesus further confirms his distinct individuality here from the Supreme Being as he says, "Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you". It is clear from this statement that there are two individuals here: Jesus and the Supreme Being.

But why does Jesus then say: "But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away." ?

This relates, Jesus says, to his disciples' own relationships with the Supreme Being and His expansion - the "Counselor." Jesus is describing the intimate relationships that exist within the spiritual realm and how they work with respect to giving guidance.

Let's break this down.

Again, Jesus says, "Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you." "The Counselor" is being translated from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklētos) which means, "comforter, helper, succourer, aider, assistant, pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, advocate" according to the lexicon.

Jesus clarifies who and what παράκλητος (paraklētos) is with a previous statement:
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26)
We see here that the "Counselor" is in fact, the Holy Spirit of God. The words "Holy Spirit" are derived from two Greek words: The first is ἅγιος (hagios) which refers to something that is venerated or worshiped - often referred to as "holy." The second is πνεῦμα (pneuma) which is typically translated to "spirit" but can also refer to "the vital principal by which the body is animated," "a human soul that has left the body," and "an angel" according to the lexicon.

Let's consider this carefully. What happens when a body dies? The same body that was walking around talking and being otherwise active is now lifeless. Every physical element is still there in the body: All the blood, the cells, the bacteria, the nerves, the brain, the eyes - everything down to the enzymes and proteins. What is missing?

What is missing is the personality who activated that body - "the vital principal by which the body is animated." The person who had goals, objectives, desires and will. This person is πνεῦμα (pneuma) - the spirit who occupied that body.

Each of us is πνεῦμα (pneuma). We are each non-physical entities, occupying a gross physical body much as a person might drive a car. And since we cannot see, touch or otherwise sense πνεῦμα (pneuma) with the gross physical senses or the instruments of the physical world, we know that πνεῦμα (pneuma) is beyond the physical dimension.

This is because the πνεῦμα (pneuma) is of another substance. It is of another dimension.

This can be compared with a boy sitting in front of a computer playing a video game. In the virtual world of the video game the boy takes on an icon or avatar. That icon dwells within the digital world of the video game, and not outside the computer. For this reason, the video game icon cannot see the boy sitting at the computer terminal. The icon is only programmed to "see" those other elements of the virtual reality of the video game. Its entire identity and abilities are restricted by the programming of its virtual reality.

The physical world can be compared to a virtual world within a computer. But instead of the limitations of the 0s and 1s of the bits and bytes of digital code, the physical world is limited by the programming of the various atomic elements and their subatomic energy levels, and our physical bodies are limited by the programming of the DNA within each cell.

But just as an addicted video gamer might be hooked on the virtual reality of the video game, each of us - πνεῦμα (pneuma) - are trapped within these temporary physical bodies. And just as the video gamer begins identifying with his avatar or icon within the virtual reality of the video game, we are each trapped within these temporary identities of this gross physical world.

But now Jesus is talking not just about πνεῦμα (pneuma), but ἅγιος πνεῦμα (hagios pneuma). He is not talking just about a non-physical spirit being, but the most revered spirit being - the Supreme Being, or within this context, the Holy Spirit.

The first reality to understand is that just as our identities are spirit, not physical, the Supreme Being is also spirit.

The difference is that we are limited and God is not. Each of us - spirit-persons - can become trapped within the confines of a physical body, and tricked by this virtual realm in such a way that we forget our identities as spirit. The Supreme Person, however, is not limited. He does not become trapped within a physical body or confined by the physical world.

In fact the Supreme Being created the physical world and these physical bodies. He furthermore is in complete control of them. He does not become limited by them.

The Supreme Being is not limited at all. He can expand Himself into a myriad of spiritual forms and even physical forms as He wishes. His potency is unlimited. The Supreme Person is not limited by either time or space.

God can therefore be in multiple places at the same time. He can expand Himself without limit.

The Supreme Being can also present Himself to us when and where He wishes. While He is with us constantly through His expansive form, He can make Himself more or less available to us as He desires. This is God.

So while we might try to limit the confines of God through this entity called the "Holy Spirit" or "Holy Ghost," the Supreme Being is never limited by our perspective. He remains beyond our physical perspective. But we can know that He is with us and can allow Him to guide us.

The Supreme Being expands Himself within the physical world using three general energetic faculties:  He expands Himself within each atom as atomic energy; He expands Himself within each galaxy and physical universe through gravity and the other geophysical forces; and He expands His energies into each living organism, as an unattached companion to the spirit-person trapped within that body.

We might compare this again to a car, and the Supreme Being is sitting within the car with each of us.

The problem is that due to our focus upon the illusory energy of the physical world we cannot see God's expansion - the Holy Spirit - next to us. Occasionally we might get a glimpse of Him as we feel there is someone guiding us. But this can be easily misread and misunderstand, as we may well also be listening to our mind or perhaps others outside the gross plane who may want to influence us.

So who is driving and who is the passenger in this 'car' we call the physical body? Well that depends upon how you look at it. We are the functional driver in that we steer our physical bodies according to our consciousness and desires. But the Supreme Being's expansion is the real driver because He is facilitating the trip.

Rather than a car, this might be more completely (but still not completely) compare this to steering a virtual spaceship through a virtual reality of a computer game. While the ship can be steered by the gamer, the programmer determines the functionalities of the ship and the environment of the virtual reality-scape within the game. In the same way, God and God's programming and control guides the functionality of our body and the environment of the physical world.

We say programming and control because in the physical world, God has produced a machine that automatically responds to our consciousness, goals and activities. But He also can personally adjust and redirect things at will. He can, in other words, become involved personally or just let the energies of the physical world run on automatic.

The automatic part of the physical world we can see through evolution, cause and effect, and consequences. These are programmed.

But should the Supreme Being be invoked by one of His loving servants to become personally involved in someone's life - well, that is a different story. In this case, the person will become personally guided by the Supreme Being, and will have greater access to Him through the facility of the Holy Spirit.

This increased guidance and access is what Jesus is describing as he states, "I will send Him to you."

This concept of "send" must be differentiated from our physical mind's concept of send. Remember that the Supreme Being is not limited by time and space. He does not have to be physically dispatched. Also remember that God is already by our side. He is already our closest companion - whether we know it or not.

The difference is that God can give greater guidance and allow Himself to be accessed more easily by a person. This typically takes place when a person has shown their desire to come to know and love God.

So what does Jesus' leaving his disciples have to do with him "sending" the Holy Spirit to them?

When Jesus was before his students he could speak to them and teach them directly through his words and activities. In this way he gave his direct guidance to them. And those serious students, by hearing from Jesus and following his instructions, became more advanced spiritually.

But once Jesus physically left their presence, they still needed guidance - as we all do. And because of their dedication to Jesus, Jesus invoked God to further guide them personally through the Holy Spirit.

This invocation is about loving relationships. The Supreme Being is not an inanimate object, a void nor "everything." The Supreme Being is a person - a person who loves and can be loved. But loving God requires first knowing Him. We must know the Person of God in order to love God.

Those who love the Supreme Being are involved in a relationship with Him. This intimate loving relationship is invisible to the physical world. Jesus was involved with such an internal loving relationship with God.

One who is involved in such a loving relationship with the Supreme Being can request He personally guide someone. Such a request is made within the context of the loving relationship that exists between the Supreme Being and His devoted servant. Such a servant is linked with God's desire for us to return to Him. For this reason, such a request is also loving service. The loving servant of God wants others to also come to know the Supreme Being, and this is also God's desire. They share the same desire, in other words - and this is the "oneness" between Jesus and God that is often incorrectly confused as their being the same person. It is a "oneness" of will - a "oneness" of purpose.

But God's personal guidance is not an arbitrary thing. One must also have a sincere desire to come to know and love the Supreme Being. That is not the same as a whimsical challenge of "if there is a God show yourself to me!" We must be not only sincere, but serious. This requires commitment.

So Jesus, as God's humble loving servant, is telling these committed and dedicated students that He will invoke God's personal guidance for them after he leaves them physically and can thus no longer give them direct guidance. Such is the love Jesus has for these dedicated students, and Jesus' desire to do the Supreme Being's will - of calling us back into the arms of our Best Friend and Eternal Companion.


(The NIV is utilized for Biblical quotes here. For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Gospel of John without sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus  - translated from the original Greek texts.)